Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Caudata      Eurycea cirrigera -- Southern Two-lined Salamander

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Purple shade indicates vouchered specimens. Light blue (cyan) shade indicates photographic records. Yellow shade indicates verified sighting. Slanted hatch indicates pre-1980 records only

NOTE: Not all specimens upon which these maps are based have been verified.


Key Characters: Slender yellow or tan body with 2 dark stripes down back from eyes onto tail.

Similar Species: Cave salamander, longtail salamander, dusky salamander.

Description: A small (up to 11 cm TL), slender salamander with small black spots between the dark back stripes and on top of head. Belly unspotted yellow. Tail 61% of TL or less and legs short. Costal grooves distinct. Nasolabial grooves present and, in breeding male, continue onto elongated cirri on upper lip. Three or more costal folds between adpressed limbs. Larva slender, with low tail fin and long gill rami, unpigmented throat, and marked on the back with paired light spots that sometimes fuse with narrow midback pale stripe.

Habitat: Near rocky brooks, spring seeps, and spring-fed streams in mesic forests.

Natural History: Adults can be found along edge, larvae in pools. They eat worms and other small invertebrates. At night during rain, adults and juveniles wander into woods as they feed. Slippery and agile, they escape by quickly swimming, jumping, or running to cover. From April to May, females attach white eggs, individually in tight clusters, to undersides of rocks that are exposed to running water. Larvae probably transform during second year of life.

Status: Locally abundant in spring and autumn. Western edge of range ends along the Kankakee River, eastern edge of the Grand Prairie, and in the eastern Shawnee and Cretaceous Hills.

 

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