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Many-Lined Salamander

Fact File

Scientific Name: Stereochilus marginatus

Classification: Amphibian

Conservation Status:

Size: Up to 4.5 inches

Distribution: Occurs in Virginia between Greensville and Prince George counties east to the Dismal Swamp. They may be found in gum and cypress swamps, woodland pools, and slow moving streams where the water is acidic and sphagnum moss is present.

Identifying Characteristics

These are slender brownish to yellowish salamanders with many thin, dark lines along the sides. Hatchlings emerge with external gills and spend 1–2 years as larvae before transforming into adults. Recently emerged hatchlings are dark red with yellow spots on the body and tail fins. Older larvae are similar in appearance to the adults.

Did You Know?

Many-lined Salamanders can aestivate in the substrate in cavities they make when their wetland dries out.

Role in the Web of Life

Breeding and egg laying occur in the fall. Females deposit 16–121 eggs under moist logs and in sphagnum mats. Hatching occurs in late March and April. They eat a variety of small invertebrates, including small freshwater clams.

Conservation

Tier IV Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Virginia’s Wildlife Action Plan.

Last updated: February 22, 2021