Sunday, September 26, 2010

Southern Two-lined Salamander

Although common across the southern half of Ohio, the Southern Two-lined Salamander, Eurycea cirrigera, is a rarity at Blue Jay Barrens. This salamander is normally found along small streams in rocky wooded areas. Perhaps the frequency of drought at this location makes it difficult for the population to persist.

The name comes from the lines running along the edge of the salamander’s back. I probably would have named it the golden-backed salamander because it’s the bright yellow-gold coloring on the back that I first notice when I encounter this species.

Salamanders are always fun to encounter. They seem so fragile that it’s a wonder they can survive any type of adversity. I’m amazed each time I find a salamander apparently thriving in this dry landscape.

I found this guy beneath a log in the dry creek bed. There seems to be enough moisture in the creek gravel to keep the underside of the log hydrated, so this is a perfect place for a salamander to wait out the drought.


  1. Gosh, the little guys I caught in the same area when a child were brown. I don't remember seeing these pretty characters.

  2. Hi Steve..Thats a pretty little fellow...surprising how the always look like they are wet there so shiny!!!
    Hope he doesn't have to wait to much longer to have some rain!!

  3. Hi, Lois. Maybe you were in an area like here where this salamander is rare. There are some other species that would look pretty much plain brown.

    Hi, grammie g. Salamanders use their internal moisture to keep the skin hydrated. That's why they dry up so quickly when exposed to the dry air. Rain is predicted for tomorrow, so maybe we'll have some wet air for a couple of days.

  4. ...he is pretty! Matty and I found brown two-lined salamanders (at Shawnee and Clifty Falls) and we thought they were cool, but they don't compare to your yellow salamander!