This species belongs to a family of salamanders without lungs. It breathes through its skin and mucous membranes.
General description: The red to red-orange stripe running from the head to the tail of this salamander is distinctive. Their sides are dark, often with gray-blue spots.
Size: Usually less than 3 inches long
Eggs can be seen through the skin of this plump, gravid female.
Red-backed Salamanders are unique among Minnesota's salamanders, as they lay eggs terrestrially and larvae develop inside the egg before emerging as fully formed miniature adults.
Habitat and range
Unlike most salamanders that spend at least part of their life in the water, Eastern red-backed salamanders are completely terrestrial.
Distinguish the similar Four-toed salamander (top) from the Eastern red-backed salamander (bottom) by looking at their bellies.