The red-cheeked salamander is mainly active ffrom mid-May to early October, becoming most abundant from July to September. It is a nocturnal, generalist predator that forages on the forest floor for any moving animal of digestible size, although it may also climb low plants on humid, foggy nights whilst hunting. Individual red-cheeked salamanders defend territories, with males occupying larger territories than females. When temperatures drop to around freezing, the red-cheeked salamander resides in its burrow deep underground, with no surface activity until spring the following year (2).
Mating occurs in August and September. The eggs are laid in underground burrows in May and guarded by the female (2) (4). Clutch size varies with the size of the female, and the largest femalse may produce up to ten eggs, while smaller females may produce as few as three or four. The eggs take two months to hatch. The juvenile salamanders, which hatch directly from the egg and do not have an aquatic larval stage, emerge from the burrow in May the following year. The juveniles reach maturity in their fifth year. The female red-cheeked salamander breeds only every second year, as it is difficult to capture enough food after laying to produce enough energy for new eggs, before cold weather halts mating. This means that the red-cheeked salamander has a rather slow reproduction rate for an animal of such small size (2).
The red-cheeked salamander communicates by touch and with pheromones that are applied to the substrate. It is capable of exuding a slime from its tail when disturbed, which may stick to the feathers around the eyes of avian predators and interfere with vision by gluing the eyelids shut (2).