long-tailed salamander

(Eurycea longicauda longicauda)


This is the only salamander that is yellowish with conspicuous vertical black marks on the tail. The color may vary from yellow to orange to red. The adult measures 4-6.25 inches. It has a broad dorsal band limited either side by elongate dots or dashes enclosing small, irregular, separate black spots. The sides of head and trunk have separate black spots, and the belly is yellow. This salamander breeds underwater in winter, producing a clutch of 90 eggs. The eggs are attached to stones or boards in or suspended above underground water and the female coils around the eggs.


This species occurs in the western part of Virginia. It is mainly terrestrial and found in and beneath old rotting logs and under stones, in crevices, shale banks and beneath litter near the margins of streams, and in caves. It is associated with cool, slow-moving water. It is often associated with limestone and shale substrates.


This species eats adult and immature insects, arthropods, worms, and other terrestrial invertebrates.