Southern Zigzag Salamander

Plethodon ventralis (State Status: S2; imperiled)


Plethodon ventralis can only be encountered in the extreme northeast part of Mississippi. Their habitat is rockier, elevated areas and slopes, as well as ravines and seepages (Powell et al., 2016). They are 2-3 inches in length, gray, usually with a reddish or yellowish middorsal marking (often similar to a zigzag shape). 

Adult P. ventralis found under leaf litter near a rocky seep

Identifying Traits

  • Gray or dark gray body
  • Reddish or yellowish “zigzag” on back
  • Light belly with red, orange, or dark mottling


Wooded slopes, rocky ravines, seepages (Powell et al., 2016)


Generally utilizes natural structures like rocks and logs for shelter


Various small invertebrates

Plethodon ventralis with gray zigzag pattern, Winston Co. (AL), © Brittany Maldonado
Adult found in northern Alabama, Winston Co. (AL), © Brittany Maldonado
Southern Zigzag Salamanders may often be found climbing rock faces on wet nights