Southern Two-lined Salamander
Eurycea cirrigera

Photo by JD Willson

Description: The southern two-lined salamander and the Blue Ridge two-lined salamander (Eurycea wilderae) were formerly considered different subspecies of a single species. Both species have an underlying yellow to orangish color and dark brown or black stripes which run down the sides of the body. Both species usually have a number of scattered black spots or blotches on the back. The color of the southern two-lined salamander is generally less vivid than that of the Blue Ridge two-lined salamander. The lower border of the stripes on the southern two-lined salamander tend to fade into the yellow or orange of the belly while the lower border of the stripes on the Blue Ridge two-lined salamander are relatively straight-edged. Also, the stripes on the sides of the southern two-lined salamander typically run all the way down the tail while the stripes on the Blue Ridge two-lined salamander break up about halfway down the tail. Larvae are dusky yellow in color and have six to nine pairs of light spots on the back. Southern two-lined salamander larvae also have squared snouts and reddish gills while Desmognathus larvae have rounded snouts and pale or silver gills.

Habitat/Range: Southern two-lined salamanders are fairly abundant throughout most of North Carolina. They are only absent in the Blue Ridge Mountains and in a small portion of the northern coastal plain. These salamanders are semi-aquatic and may be found in and around streams, seeps, pools, and ditches. These salamanders are most commonly found in water during the breeding season, which begins in late spring. At other times of the year, these salamanders move into the woods surrounding their aquatic habitats.

Diet: Southern two-lined salamanders consume primarily small invertebrates but will occasionally consume smaller salamanders.

Reproduction: The breeding season begins in late winter or early spring. Females typically guard their eggs until they hatch. At this time, females deposit their eggs under rocks, logs, or leaves in water. Hatchling salamanders emerge from their eggs with external gills and spend around 2 years as fully aquatic larvae before transforming into adults.


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The shaded region represents the range of the southern two-lined salamander in North Carolina.

Photo by Grant Connette

A southern-two lined salamander with eggs.
Photo by Pierson Hill

Photo by Chris McEwen

Photo by Pierson Hill

Photo by Pierson Hill

This website created by: J. Willson, Y. Kornilev, W. Anderson, G. Connette and E. Eskew.
For comments or questions contact M. Dorcas:
M. Dorcas homepage:
Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina 28035-7118.

Partial Funding for this website provided by a Associate Colleges of the South, National Science Foundation, and Duke Energy.