Cave Salamander
Eurycea lucifuga

  • Cave Salamander
  • Cave Salamander
  • Cave Salamander
  • Cave Salamander
  • Cave Salamander
Cave Salamander 1 Cave Salamander2 Cave Salamander3 Cave Salamander4 Cave Salamander5

Common Name:
Cave Salamander
Scientific Name:
Eurycea lucifuga
Eurycea has no known meaning, but is thought to be mythological in nature.
lucis is Latin for "light", fuga is Latin for "flee". Referring to the salamander's habit of avoiding light.
Average Length:
4 - 6 in. (10 - 15.2 cm)
Virginia Record Length: 
Record length:
 7.1 in. (18.1 cm)

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: This species is without a definite broad dorsal band. The back and sides of head, trunk, and tail with many small, irregular or rounded, separate black spots, rarely a dorso-lateral linear series. The venter is light yellow and it has a length up to 161 mm *1009*. The young are paler and yellowish with the hatchlings sparsely pigmented and only 10 mm long *1014*. They have a prehensile tail *869*.

REPRODUCTION: This species lays about 60 eggs in the fall or winter. The young become sexually mature at about 125 mm *1014*.

BEHAVIOR: This species is found in and among caves. The larvae are abundant in the waters of caves *966*. Moisture may govern their distribution within caves. This species is virtually restricted to limestone regions and partial to the twilight zone of caves. During wet periods it may occur near springs and along rocky brooks under logs and stones *1014*. It is frequently found under logs, stones, and rubbish in damp situations outside of caves *1009*. The eggs are attached to the underside of rocks in cave streams. Metamorphosis occurs at 50-60 mm. This species climbs well on damp walls and ledges, but is not a true troglobite *1014*. Population parameters: The males outnumber females by a ratio of 1.5:1.0 *928*. Aquatic/terrestrial associations: This species may occur with Plethodon r. richmondi and Eurycea longicauda *884*.

References for Life History


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Verified County/City Occurrence

Amherst County
Bland County
Botetourt County
Craig County
Frederick County
Giles County
Lee County
Rockbridge County
Russell County
Scott County
Smyth County
Tazewell County
Wise County
Verified in 13 Counties/Cities.

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