Blue Ridge Two-lined Salamander (Eurycea wilderae)

Blue Ridge Two-lined Salamander (Eurycea wilderae)

Photos by J.D. Willson unless otherwise noted

Description: Most members of Genus Eurycea are yellowish, at least ventrally. Eurycea wilderae is no exception. A fairly small salamander – Snout-vent length 2.75 – 3 in (7-10.7 cm) — that is distinguished from other salamanders within its range by its striking yellow or orange body and broad dark stripes. It closely resembles the southern two-lined salamander (Eurycea cirrigera) and is best distinguished by range and greater saturation of yellow or orange color and pattern. Males have longer legs than females, a mental gland, and nostril projections (cirri) during the mating season.

Range and Habitat: This species is found in rocky seeps, rills, brooks, and streams of the Blue Ridge Mountains, primarily in North Carolina and Tennessee. In our region it is only found in the mountains of extreme northern Georgia and northwestern South Carolina.

Habits: Two-Lined Salamanders are often found hiding under rocks, leaf packs and other organic debris along streams, above and below water. These salamanders also frequently venture into warm, wet forests. Their larvae are aquatic.

Conservation Status: E. wilderae is listed as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List. It is not listed in CITES. This species is considered to be locally abundant and stable with few threats, except habitat destruction.

Pertinent References:
Petranka, J.W. 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington, D.C.

Petranka , J.W., M.E. Eldridge, and K.E. Haley. 1993. Effects of timber harvesting on southern Appalachian salamanders. Conservation Biology 7:363-370.

Account Author: Chad A. Jennison, University of Georgia – edited by J.D. Willson