Plethodon albagula

 

Family Name: Plethodontidae

Genus: Plethodon

Species Name: albagula

Pronunciation:

Common Name: western slimy salamander

 

The Western Slimy Salamander, also referred to as the Whitethroat Slimy Salamander, can be found in 2 areas of the United States, in Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas as well as an area in south central Texas.  These salamanders are typically found under rocks and in moist, wooded areas as well as the entrances of caves.  They are nocturnal and tend to venture out at night or after heavy rains.

Typically black in color with white or silver speckling, the Western Slimy Salamander has large bulbous eyes, and a long tail.  They range from 4 inches to more than 6 inches in length and weigh less than one ounce.  These salamanders are unique because they have neither lungs nor gills; instead, they breathe through their skin.

The creatures name is derived from the thick, sticky substance secreted by its skin glands.  The substance adheres to human skin like glue and can be very difficult to remove.  The slime is used as a defense mechanism against its predators such as snakes.  Small arthropods and worms typically make up their diet.