Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
This is a small, slender, long-tailed species with a narrow head and short limbs relative to other species in its range. Its hands and feet are small and digits short; there are only four toes. There are 15 (rare) to 17 costal grooves. For a member of its genus it is relatively robust with moderately long limbs. It is a dark animal with an almost black or blackish-brown ground color and an irregular dorsal band or stripe that is typically reddish brown. The sides are covered with a rich speckling of small white spots which become increasingly large ventrolaterally. The venter is covered with large separated white spots that give it a distinctive appearance.
This species is a member of the subgenus Plethopsis and shares many morphological and biochemical traits with the two other members of that taxon. In general members of this subgenus are shorter-bodied, shorter-tailed, and more robust than members of the subgenus Batrachoseps. In general the species is less than 50 mm snout-vent length, but one giant specimen reached 60 mm (Brame 1964).