Animalia > Chordata > Amphibia > Caudata > Plethodontidae > Plethodon > Plethodon cinereus

Plethodon cinereus (Eastern Red-backed Salamander; Redback Salamander; Red-backed Salamander)

Synonyms: Plethodon cinereus cinereus; Salamandra cinerea
Language: French

Wikipedia Abstract

The red-backed (or redback) salamander (Plethodon cinereus) is a small, hardy woodland salamander. It inhabits wooded slopes in eastern North America, west to Missouri, south to North Carolina, and north from southern Quebec and the Maritime Provinces in Canada to Minnesota. It is also known as the eastern red-backed salamander or the northern red-backed salamander to distinguish it from the southern red-backed salamander (Plethodon serratus). It is one of 55 species in the genus Plethodon.
View Wikipedia Record: Plethodon cinereus

EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 18.81
EDGE Score: 2.99


Adult Weight [2]  1 grams
Female Maturity [2]  2 years
Male Maturity [2]  2 years
Diet [3]  Carnivore
Adult Length [1]  16 inches (41.2 cm)
Litter Size [2]  8
Litters / Year [1]  1
Maximum Longevity [2]  25 years
Nocturnal [3]  Yes


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Allegheny Highlands forests United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Appalachian-Blue Ridge forests United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Central Canadian Shield forests Canada Nearctic Boreal Forests/Taiga
Central U.S. hardwood forests United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Eastern Canadian forests Canada Nearctic Boreal Forests/Taiga
Eastern forest-boreal transition Canada, United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests Canada, United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Gulf of St. Lawrence lowland forests Canada Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Middle Atlantic coastal forests United States Nearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
New England-Acadian forests Canada, United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Northeastern coastal forests United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Southeastern mixed forests United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Southern Great Lakes forests Canada, United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Upper Midwest forest-savanna transition United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Western Great Lakes forests Canada, United States Nearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Acadia National Park II 35996 Maine, United States
Algonquin Provincial Park IV 1868802 Ontario, Canada
Antietam National Battlefield III 3263 Maryland, United States
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge VI 19192 Maryland, United States
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge VI 16363 Delaware, United States
Bruce Peninsula National Park II   Ontario, Canada
Cape Breton Highlands National Park II 234333 Nova Scotia, Canada  
Cape Cod National Seashore II 21724 Massachusetts, United States
Catoctin Mountain Park National Park II 5994 Maryland, United States
Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve 9859505 New York, Vermont, United States  
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area V 7622 Georgia, United States
Chippewa Nature Center   Michigan, United States    
Edwin S. George Reserve 1297 Michigan, United States
Fathom Five National Marine Park II   Ontario, Canada
Fire Island National Seashore V 9433 New York, United States
Forillon National Park II 61010 Quebec, Canada  
Fundy National Park II 52716 New Brunswick, Canada
Gateway National Recreation Area V 1807 New Jersey, United States
George Washington Birthplace National Monument V 435 Virginia, United States
George Washington Memorial Parkway V   Virginia, United States
Georgian Bay Islands National Park II   Ontario, Canada
Gettysburg National Military Park V 3560 Pennsylvania, United States
Grand Portage National Monument V 144 Minnesota, United States
Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge VI 3161 New Jersey, United States
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park VI 715 West Virginia, United States
Hope College Biology Nature Preserve 55 Michigan, United States
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site III 861 Pennsylvania, United States
Hubbard Brook Biosphere Reserve 7809 New Hampshire, United States
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore II 8272 Indiana, United States
Kejimkujik National Park II 94203 Nova Scotia, Canada
Kejimkujik Seaside Adjunct National Park II 4970 Nova Scotia, Canada
Kouchibouguac National Park II 59161 New Brunswick, Canada
La Mauricie National Park II 131706 Quebec, Canada
Lake Superior Provincial Park IV 351011 Ontario, Canada
Long Point Biosphere Reserve 100325 Ontario, Canada  
Morristown National Historical Park VI 1677 New Jersey, United States
New Jersey Pinelands Biosphere Reserve   New Jersey, United States  
Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve 470167 Ontario, Canada  
Prince Edward Island National Park II   Prince Edward Island, Canada  
Prince William Forest Park 19378 District of Columbia, United States
Pukaskwa National Park II 459860 Ontario, Canada
Rondeau Provincial Park II 5035 Ontario, Canada
Roosevelt Vanderbilt National Historic Site   New York, United States      
Saint Croix International Historic Site   Maine, United States
Saint Lawrence Islands National Park II   Ontario, Canada
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site III 139 New Hampshire, United States
Saratoga National Historical Park   New York, United States
Shenandoah National Park II 108221 Virginia, United States
Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve 3821173 Canada  
Valley Forge National Historical Park VI 3509 Pennsylvania, United States
Virginia Coast Biosphere Reserve 33386 Virginia, United States  


Prey / Diet

Armadillidium vulgare (pillbug)[4]
Camponotus pennsylvanicus (black carpenter ant)[4]
Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick)[4]
Gryllus pennsylvanicus (fall field cricket)[4]
Micrathena gracilis (Spined micrathena)[4]
Misumena vatia (flower spider)[4]
Odontopus calceatus (Sassafras weevil)[4]
Phidippus audax (Daring Jumping Spider)[4]
Triatoma sanguisuga (Eastern blood-sucking cone)[4]
Tuberolachnus salignus[4]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Agelaius phoeniceus (Red-winged Blackbird)3
Agkistrodon contortrix (Southern Copperhead)1
Ambystoma maculatum (Spotted Salamander)5
Anaxyrus americanus americanus (Eastern American Toad)9
Archilochus colubris (Ruby-throated Hummingbird)2
Baeolophus bicolor (Tufted Titmouse)5
Buteo jamaicensis (Red-tailed Hawk)1
Cardinalis cardinalis (Northern Cardinal)2
Charadrius vociferus (Killdeer)3
Colinus virginianus (Northern Bobwhite)5
Corvus brachyrhynchos (American Crow)1
Cryptotis parva (North American Least Shrew)4
Cyanocitta cristata (Blue Jay)1
Didelphis virginiana (Virginia Opossum)1
Dryocopus pileatus (Pileated Woodpecker)1
Eptesicus fuscus (big brown bat)2
Eurycea guttolineata (Three-lined Salamander)3
Geothlypis trichas (Common Yellowthroat)2
Heterodon platirhinos (Eastern Hognose Snake)1
Larus delawarensis (Ring-billed Gull)1
Lithobates catesbeianus (American Bullfrog)1
Lithobates sphenocephalus sphenocephalus (Florida Leopard Frog)6
Lithobates sylvaticus (Wood Frog)8
Meleagris gallopavo (Wild Turkey)6
Mephitis mephitis (Striped Skunk)1
Mimus polyglottos (Northern Mockingbird)1
Molothrus ater (Brown-headed Cowbird)3
Myiarchus crinitus (Great Crested Flycatcher)2
Notophthalmus viridescens (Eastern Newt)5
Peromyscus leucopus (white-footed mouse)1
Picoides pubescens (Downy Woodpecker)6
Plestiodon fasciatus (Five-lined Skink)8
Poecile carolinensis (Carolina Chickadee)5
Procyon lotor (Raccoon)1
Pseudacris crucifer (Spring Peeper)6
Quiscalus quiscula (Common Grackle)1
Rattus norvegicus (Norway rat)1
Scalopus aquaticus (Eastern Mole)5
Sciurus carolinensis (eastern gray squirrel)1
Sialia sialis (Eastern Bluebird)4
Sitta carolinensis (White-breasted Nuthatch)2
Sturnus vulgaris (European Starling)1
Terrapene carolina (Florida Box Turtle)2
Thamnophis sirtalis (Common Garter Snake)1
Thryothorus ludovicianus (Carolina Wren)5
Turdus migratorius (American Robin)5
Ursus arctos (Grizzly Bear)1
Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox)1
Zenaida macroura (Mourning Dove)1
Zonotrichia albicollis (White-throated Sparrow)2


Agkistrodon contortrix (Southern Copperhead)[4]
Buteo jamaicensis (Red-tailed Hawk)[4]
Chelydra serpentina (Common Snapping Turtle)[4]
Corvus brachyrhynchos (American Crow)[4]
Cryptotis parva (North American Least Shrew)[4]
Cyanocitta cristata (Blue Jay)[5]
Didelphis virginiana (Virginia Opossum)[5]
Megaceryle alcyon (Belted Kingfisher)[4]
Meleagris gallopavo (Wild Turkey)[4]
Mephitis mephitis (Striped Skunk)[4]
Procyon lotor (Raccoon)[5]
Sciurus carolinensis (eastern gray squirrel)[4]
Strix varia (Barred Owl)[4]
Thamnophis sirtalis (Common Garter Snake)[4]
Turdus migratorius (American Robin)[5]


Ampelocissus latifolia (American ivy)[4]
Diphasiastrum digitatum (fan clubmoss)[4]
Fragaria virginiana (Virginia Strawberry)[4]
Leucobryum glaucum (leucobryum moss)[4]
Osmundastrum cinnamomeum (cinnamon fern)[4]
Pteridium aquilinum (northern bracken fern)[4]
Rosa virginiana (Virginia Rose)[4]
Symplocarpus foetidus (Skunk Cabbage)[4]
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)[4]
Trifolium pratense (Red Clover)[4]


Parasitized by 
Angiostoma plethodontis <Unverified Name>[6]
Batracholandros magnavulvaris <Unverified Name>[6]
Brachycoelium louisianae <Unverified Name>[6]
Brachycoelium storeriae <Unverified Name>[6]
Cosmocercoides dukae <Unverified Name>[6]
Cosmocercoides variabilis <Unverified Name>[6]
Cylindrotaenia americana <Unverified Name>[6]
Cylindrotaenia idahoensis <Unverified Name>[6]
Oswaldocruzia pipiens <Unverified Name>[6]
Rhabdias ranae <Unverified Name>[6]
Thelandros magnavulvaris <Unverified Name>[6]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Nat'l Mississippi River Museum & Aquar

Range Map

North America;



Attributes / relations provided by
1Oliveira, Brunno Freire; São-Pedro, Vinícius Avelar; Santos-Barrera, Georgina; Penone, Caterina; C. Costa, Gabriel. (2017) AmphiBIO, a global database for amphibian ecological traits. Sci. Data.
2de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
3Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
4Study of Northern Virginia Ecology
5Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
6Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Protected Areas provided by Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas in cooperation between the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis and numerous collaborators.
Chippewa Nature Center
Edwin S. George Reserve, University of Michigan, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Hope College Biology Nature Preserve
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access