Common Name: Northern Slimy Salamander

Scientific Name: Plethodon glutinosus
Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Amphibia

Order: Caudata

Family: Plethontidae

Genus: Plethodon

Species: P. glutinosus


The Northern Slimy Salamander is a very interesting creature. It lives in a range of areas, including the Midwest. One interesting fact about the Northern Slimy Salamander is that when it feels pressured or gets stressed out, it squirts outs this slimy, sticky liquid on you and that’s how it gets its name.


The Northern Slimy Salamander has some key identification factors. The salamanders are usually black and have silvery whitish speckles. Some salamanders may also be bluish in color. While most of them have just speckles on their backs, some Northern Slimy Salamanders have them on their chins and on the undersides of their tails. Sizes with the Northern Slimy Salamander vary. Some can be as small as 4inches while others could get around 8inches. The biggest Northern Slimy Salamander is 9inches! That’s pretty big for a salamander!


Now that you know how to identify them, you’re probably wondering if you need to stay away or if they will hurt you. Their slime is not poisonous, but you wouldn’t want to touch it because it slicks like super glue! Northern Slimy Salamanders will NOT eat you! They only eat beetles, earthworms, ants, and sow bugs. The Northen Slimy Salamander does not have many predators because of its sticky reflex. If you were an animal and you ate one it would be like having vinegar flavored peanut butter in your mouth and all the milk in the world wouldn’t wash it down.
The Northern “slimies“ live in many different places. They are found in two thirds of the united states. Including New York, Wisconsin, Texas, Florida, New Hampshire, Georgia, Eastern Alabama, Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana. Since they are amphibians they live in moist areas. They can be found in hilly forests where they live under rotting logs, the twilight zone of caves, and the crevices in rocks.
The Northern Slimy Salamanders are not greatly threatened. The biggest threat would be hurting the forests that they live in. The population of Northern Slimy Salamanders is very abundant, meaning their population is very large. Even though the idea is not widely accepted, scientists have actually considered splitting them up in distinct species.
When I used to think of salamanders I used to think oh gross. Now I know that these creatures that I don’t even think about half the time, are actually really cool! I wonder what other creatures im just looking over?
Author:  Madison S.
Date Published: 05/2010