Dwarf Salamander
Eurycea quadridigitata

Chamberlain's Dwarf Salamander
Eurycea chamberlaini

Photo by JD Willson

 

Listed: State Species of Concern

Description: Dwarf salamanders and Chamberlain’s dwarf salamanders were formerly considered to be different “color morphs” of a single species. Both of these species have four toes on the front and hind limbs, unlike most salamanders in the family Plethodontidae, which have five toes on the back limbs. Both species have a brownish-yellow back, with darker sides. Chamberlain’s dwarf salamanders are generally slightly smaller as adults and have a bright yellow underside while dwarf salamanders have a pigmented underside with dark brown flecks. Larval Chamberlain’s dwarf salamanders have a few spots on the back, which are absent on larval dwarf salamanders.

Habitat/Range: Dwarf salamanders and Chamberlain’s dwarf salamanders are both found in the Coastal Plain and lower Piemont of North Carolina. The ranges of these two species seldom overlap, with Chamberlain’s dwarf salamanders occurring only in the southeastern part of the state. Dwarf salamanders are commonly found along the margins of ponds in pine forests or savannahs. They may also be found around swamps and bottomland hardwood forests. Chamberlain’s dwarf salamanders may be found in a variety of habitats, but are most frequently encountered in seepage areas around ponds and streams.

Diet: Both species primarily consume small invertebrates.

Reproduction: Females of both species usually lay their eggs during the winter. Eggs hatch in the spring and hatchling salamanders emerge from their eggs with small external gills. The hatchlings spend several months as fully-aquatic larvae before transforming into adults.

 

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The dark shaded region represents the range of the dwarf salamander in North Carolina, and the light shaded region represents the range of Chamberlain's dwarf salamander in North Carolina.

A dwarf salamander.
Photo Kristen Cecala

Chamberlain's dwarf salamander showing the bright yellow vetnral color of this species.
Photo by JD Willson

Chamberlain's dwarf salamander.
Photo by JD Willson

A dwarf salamander.
Photo by JD Willson

Chamberlain's dwarf salamander.
Photo by Jeff Hall

This website created by: J. Willson, Y. Kornilev, W. Anderson, G. Connette and E. Eskew.
For comments or questions contact M. Dorcas: midorcas@davidson.edu.
M. Dorcas homepage: http://www.bio.davidson.edu/dorcas
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.