[Tweeters] Salamander species

Louise Rutter louise.rutter at eelpi.gotdns.org
Sun Oct 24 09:13:14 PDT 2021

Many thanks to those who replied; the vote for western red-backed salamander is unanimous, and googling images of them shows the dark phase looking exactly like my find, with just the suggestion of a yellowish stripe along the tail.

Tweeters truly is a wonderful resource!

Louise Rutter


From: Paul Bannick <paul.bannick at gmail.com>
Sent: 24 October 2021 06:10
To: Louise Rutter <louise.rutter at eelpi.gotdns.org>
Cc: Tweeters <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] Salamander species

Hi Louise,

It looks like a Western Red-backed Salamander Plethodon vehiculum to me, but I would have to see it in better light to confirm.


On Sat, Oct 23, 2021 at 10:48 PM Louise Rutter <louiserutter1000 at gmail.com <mailto:louiserutter1000 at gmail.com> > wrote:

Not birds this time, I’m afraid, but the members here cover a wide variety of nature interests. I found a salamander in my yard here in Kirkland last week, and I would have expected it to be a northwestern salamander, as they seem to be the common ones around here. But judging from the Burke museum site and other images we googled, the proportions of the one I found don’t look quite right for a northwestern and almost like the extra long and thin Dunn’s salamander, which is only supposed to live in the southwestern corner of the state. It was a very generic dark brown without much in the way of obvious markings.

I have a fairly short video of it that my husband made (I only handled it very briefly and then wetted it down again and put it back under the wood where I found it). Does anyone happen to be or know of any salamander specialists who might cast an eye over it? This is only the second Washington salamander I’ve seen, so I know nothing about the variation within a species, I only have online photos to judge from.


Louise Rutter


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