They are endemic to the United States and can be found in a couple of disjunct communities, they are found from Missouri to Oklahoma, and Arkansas while the other group can be found in south-central Texas.
These salamanders are typically found in the north-facing slopes in sheltered canyons. They can be found where there are ferns, and mosses and brushes of bluestem grass. They are found easily in rock crevices on wet road-cuts. They spend most of their time in crevices and under the ground. They can only be seen active on the surface in early spring and winter. They take shelter under rocks and logs in the day and enjoy the moistness of crevices in dry weather. Females lay eggs in a clutch of up to 18 in caves and abandoned mines. They prey on hymenopterans, coleopterans, isopods, dipterans, and formicids.
This is a long, slender salamander with a total length usually between 6-8 inches. The western slimy salamander has a black background color with white flecks from the back of the head to the tail. Species in Texas usually have more prominent white spots while the other in Nueces Canyon are mostly black with white spots only at the sides. The eyes are big and bulbous. These salamanders do not have an aquatic phase and spend all their lives on land. They are lungless and respire through their skin.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians