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Related to Plethodontidae: Sirenidae, dusky salamander, Ambystomatidae, Salamandridae, Proteidae, lungless salamander
a family of caudate amphibians. They are close to true salamanders except for the fact that they do not have lungs. Plethodontidae breathe through the skin and the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat. Their length is 8–15 cm. There are approximately 60 species, distributed in North and Central America; one species, the cave salamander (Hydromantes genei) is found in the mountains of Italy.
Plethodontidae are active primarily at night. They feed on insects and other small invertebrates. Some Plethodontidae still live in water; many lead a land existence, sometimes far from water. Terrestrial Plethodontidae lay their eggs in moist places on dry land. In some species the eggs produce larvae which complete their metamorphosis in the water; the eggs of others produce completely developed young salamanders. The females of many species of Plethodontidae remain near the eggs for the whole period of their development. Some species are viviparous.