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Eastern Long-Tailed Salamander

Fact File

Scientific Name: Eurycea longicauda longicauda

Classification: Amphibian

Size: Up to 8 inches

Distribution: Long-tailed Salamanders occur in the Ridge and Valley ecoregion. In early fall, they congregate along streams and seeps to mate. They can also be found in caves.

Identifying Characteristics

Long-tailed Salamanders are yellow to orange with black irregular blotches over the back and sides. The tail is longer than the head and body combined. The black blotches on the tail often produce a series of parallel upright bars. The belly is a light yellow to orange.

Did You Know?

The tail is prehensile and used in climbing rock faces.

Role in the Web of Life

Long-tailed Salamanders forage for invertebrates along streams and often far out in forested areas. In late spring and summer, they will disperse into surrounding forests where they forage for a variety of small invertebrates. Mating probably occurs in the fall. Females lay eggs from late fall to early spring usually depositing them singularly in underground areas, or in caves, but do not remain with the eggs. The aquatic larvae consume aquatic invertebrates and metamorphose in June or July.

Conservation

Species appears to be secure in Virginia.

Last updated: February 22, 2021