The Southern Appalachian salamander is seen in the Unicoi and Great Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee.
It can be found under rocks, logs and leaf litters that have collected over time in moist forest woodlands, especially in mountain valleys. It is gathered that this species most likely breeds in the summer or late summer to fall and then its female deposits the eggs underground in the following spring. It will brood its clutch until when they hatch into juveniles. When it comes out from its ‘retreat hole’ at night to forage on the forest floor and dine on a variety of invertebrates including millipedes, beetles, ants and moth larvae, it must also be wary because it is prey for a variety of carnivores which do not exclude snakes and birds.
It is a large salamander, its adult growing up to 120mm-170mm in total body length. This animal has scattered small white dots on its dorsum and lateral sides. The dots on its sides are larger than the ones on its back/dorsum. It has four legs that are short with slightly webbed appendages (toes) on each leg, there may also be small red spots marking it’s legs or they may be absent. Its belly is slate gray but the color is lighter on its chin. There is presence of bulging eyeballs that are almost charcoal dark.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians