Name: Van Dyke's Salamander (Plethodon vandykei)
Order: Salamanders (Caudata)
Family: Lungless Salamanders (Plethodontidae)
What they look like
- Have large paratoid glands behind their eyes.
- Three different color variants exist: yellow/orange; rose/salmon; or yellow striped with dark colored sides (usually black).
- Chins are generally lighter in color.
Where they live
- View a map of where they live.
- Are only found in Washington State in the Olympic Mountains, southern Cascade Mountains and Willapa Hills area.
- Prefer the sides of streams under rocks and rotting logs in mountain forests.
- Can be found in open unforested areas if sufficiently damp and are common in cave openings under rocks.
- Breeding season and egg laying is in Spring and eggs usually hatch by fall.
- Female guards the eggs until hatching.
- Do not have an aquatic larval stage; they hatch straight into small fully formed salamanders.
Cool Biology Facts
- The color differences might be associated to different levels of elevation and temperature.
- Live in scattered isolated populations.
- They are extremely sensitive to habitat changes due to logging. They currently are in two protected areas: Olympic National Park and Mt. St. Helens National Monument. View their status on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.