Dunn's Salamander

Photo: Rory Telemeco
Photo: Rory Telemeco

Plethodon dunni

What they look like

  • 5-8cm
  • Dark brown or black on their backs with tannish spots and small white specks.
  • Have a yellowish/greenish or brown stripe along their backs that stops before the end of their tail.
  • Underside is dark and can have lightest spots
  • Tops of their legs are lighter colored, usually yellow.

All About Amphibians

Name: Dunn's Salamander (Plethodon dunni)
Order: Salamanders (Caudata)
Family: Lungless Salamanders (Plethodontidae)

Fast Facts

Where they live

  • View a map of where they live.
  • They are found in Southwestern region of Washington state.
  • Dunn's Salamanders are most often found under rocks in wet shaded areas on the edges of streams in forests.


  • Breeding season is spring and early summer.
  • Eggs are laid in underground lairs and protected by the females.
  • There is no larval stage, the eggs hatch into tiny fully formed salamanders.
  • Young Dunn’s usually have brighter markings than adults and the stripe on their back may reach the end of the tail.

Cool Biology Facts

  • Male has two small lobes near its vent and a large mental gland on their chin that is used during courtship for the release of chemical cues.
  • Do not have lungs and breathe only through their skin.
  • Larvae do not have gills and are exclusively terrestrial.
  • When disturbed they will either rapidly scurry away or sometimes will become completely motionless to avoid being seen.


small brown salamander on bright green vegetation

Amphibians & Reptiles of Washington

Do you know where rattlesnakes live in our state? Or which salamander breathes through its skin? Explore the fascinating diversity of the 26 species of amphibians and 28 reptiles found in Washington state.