This is a small, slender salamander closely related to the northern two-lined salamander, E. bislineata. It has a bright yellow-orange back and two black dorsolateral stripes that break up into spots midway down the tail.. The sides below the dorsolateral band are marked with definite black spots of irregular size and shape. This species grows to a length of 6.5-12 cm. The clutch averages 43 eggs that are laid under rocks or other cover in seeps or streams, usually in running water. Fifty days are usually required for hatching, depending on the air temperatures, which occurs from late June through August.
It is known from Grayson, Smyth, and Washington counties in Virginia, although it is wide-ranging throughout eastern North America. Adults are found under rocks and logs along small, rocky streams and springs. They may also occur in upland forests habitats away from water. During breeding season, the adults inhabit rocks and debris on stream bottoms. Larvae live in slow areas in streams.
Larvae forage on the bottoms of streams for aquatic insects and other small invertebrates. Juveniles and adults prey at night on small invertebrates on streambanks or the forest floor.