Many-lined Salamander (Stereochilus marginatus)

Many-lined Salamander (Stereochilus marginatus)

Photos by J.D. Willson unless otherwise noted

Description: The Many-Lined Salamander is a small (2.5-3.75 in; 6.4-9.5 cm) essentially aquatic species that is characterized by long dark longitudinal stripes along body. However, in some specimens, theses stripes may be a series of spots. The head is small and the tail is usually short and stubby. Usually brown in coloration, but some yellowish specimens have been observed. Dark flecks can be observed on the usually yellow belly.

Range and Habitat: Many-Lined Salamanders are found in the Coastal Plain of the eastern U.S. from southern Virginia to northeastern Florida. This species can be found in creek swamps and blackwater streams and can often be found sharing environs with other chiefly aquatic species such as Pseudotriton montanusDesmognathus auriculatus, and Eurycea quadridigitata. This species is generally associated with leaf litter or particularly sphagnum moss mats.

Habits: This secretive species is most often discovered in sphagnum moss, under decaying organic litter in shallow water, or under logs at the edges of creek pools in drier conditions. This is one of the most aquatic stream salamanders in our region and is seldom found far from the water’s edge. Gravid females lay up to sixty eggs attached to the underside of logs, leaves, or debris, in the winter. Larvae are aquatic and can remain in larval stage for up to two years.

Conservation Status: Although uncommon throughout its range, this species is not protected. This species is probably vulnerable to degradation of wetlands, small streams, and other aquatic habitat.

Account Author: Patia M. Connell, University of Georgia – edited by J.D. Willson