Family: Plethodontidae 
(Lungless Salamanders)

  The family Plethodontidae is the largest and most diverse family of salamanders. Lungless salmanders occupy a wide variety of habitats.  In the Pacific Northwest, there are four genera and twelve species (Leonard et al. 1993).  Idaho  has a single representative of this family, the Couer d'Alene Salamander (Plethodon idahoensis).  Until recently this species was considered a subspecies of the Van Dyke's Salamander (Plethodon vandykei), in fact the species is listed as such in Amphibians and Reptiles of the Pacific Northwest by Nussbaum et al. (1983).  Characteristics of Plethodontid salamanders are the presence of nasolabial grooves and parasphenoid teethClick word for definition, and the absence of pterygoid bonesClick word for definition and lungs.

Coeur d'Alene Salamander
Plethodon idahoensis
Coeur d'Alene Salamander

Written by John Cossel Jr., 1997
Photos by Charles R. Peterson