northern two-lined salamander

Northern Two-Lined Salamander

Eurycea bislineata

Range

Eastern United States and Canada; from southern Quebec and eastern Ontario through northeastern United States and ending in central Ohio, eastern West Virginia, and northern Virginia.

Habitats

Adults can be found in rocky streams, moist woodland or habitats with cover from dead foliage, rocks, or logs. They wander far from water sources sometimes, but most times you can find them along stream banks. Larvae are usually found in springs or streams. The females resort to water to lay eggs after the breeding season in fall. The eggs are deposited underneath rocks or logs in flowing water. Although primarily insectivorous (eating beetles, mayflies, centipedes, etc.), adult salamanders also eat other invertebrates like snails and earthworms. The larvae feed on crustaceans and copepods and other invertebrate aquatic larvae.

Identification

This salamander is slender and averages 2.5 – 5 inches in length. They are identified prominently by the wide stripe that runs from the head to the tail. The stripe is bordered by black lines that may separate into short dashes around the tail. The stripe may range in colors from tan to yellow or greenish-yellow. The sides possess mottled pigmentation and each side had 15 – 16 coastal grooves and a small set of legs. Males display whitish lower eyelid glands in the breeding season and an obvious mental gland on the chin. Males also have a distinctive cirri. E. bislineata larvae have a yellowish ground color that is flecked with spots of brown or gray on the back and head. But old larvae do not have these spots. Both old and young larvae can be distinguished by their characteristic reddish-brown gills.

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