Long-tailed Salamander
Eurycea longicauda longicauda

Common Name:

Long-tailed Salamander

Scientific Name:

Eurycea longicauda longicauda



Eurycea has no known meaning, but is thought to be mythological in nature.


longus is Latin for "long", cauda is Latin for "tail". Referring to the tail length which is usually greater than snout vent length.


longus is Latin for "long", cauda is Latin for "tail". Referring to the tail length which is usually greater than snout vent length.

verage Length:

4 - 6.3 in. (10 - 15.9 cm)

Virginia Record Length:

Record length:

7.8 in. (19.7 cm)

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 90-97 mm *1014*; with a definite broad dorsal band limited either side by elongate dots or dashes and enclosing small, irregular, separate black spots; sides of head and trunk with separate black spots; side of tail with vertical, black, crescent bars; venter yellow *1009*; tail may be nearly 2/3 of the total length in large adults *1014*; tail comprises 67% of the total length in the female and 61.8% in the male; 14 costal grooves; paraphenoid teeth *1009*.

REPRODUCTION: Breeds in winter below surface *852*; clutch size of 90 eggs; eggs attached to stones or boards in or suspended above underground water *1014*; female coils around eggs *907*; larvae hatch in winter at less than 20 mm; transformation by early summer at 40-50 mm; sexual maturity attained by summer following transformation *1014*; eggs sometimes laid in caves, running water, attached to rocks or submerged debris.

BEHAVIOR: Mainly terrestrial; found in and beneath old rotting logs and under stones; found in crevices, shale banks and beneath stones and rock fragments near the margins of streams *1009*; associated with cool water, lotic habitats *851*; aquatic larvae; adults sometimes enter water *1009*; found under litter near streams *922*; associated with limestone and shale substrates; found along rocky streams and bottomlands; commonly found in damp caves *1014*; regular migration of subadults and adults between underground retreats and surface; larvae associated with lotic habitats *851*; larvae hide in leaf litter and dead vegetation in shallowest portions of pools *851*; aquatic phase found in pond edge among cooled, emergent vegetation; land phase found beneath bark, logs, stones, along edges of pools *851*; may hibernate underground *3810*.

AQUATIC/TERRESTRIAL ASSOCIATIONS: The aquatic form is associated with Ambystoma opacum, Desmognathus f. fuscus, and Typha sp. *949,972,3810*; The terrestrial form is associated Salix sp., Notophthalmus v. viridescens, Plethodeon cinereus, P. g. glutinosus, Hemidactulium sculatum, Pseudotriton r. ruber, D. f. fuscus, Sphagnum sp., Platanus occidentalis, Ruber sp., and Fraxinus sp. *3810,851*.

References for Life History

  • 851 - Anderson, J.D., Martino, P.J., 1966, The life history of Eurycea l. longicauda associated with ponds, Am. Midl. Nat., Vol. 75, pg. 257-279
  • 852 - Anderson, J.D., Martino, P.J., 1967, Food habits of Eurycea longicauda longicauda, Herpetology, Vol. 23, pg. 105-108
  • 907 - Franz, R., 1965, The eggs of the long-tailed salamander from a Maryland cave, Herpetology, Vol. 20, pg. 216
  • 922 - Holman, J.A., 1960, Physiographic provinces and distribution of some reptiles and amphibians in Johnson County, Indiana, Copeia, Vol. 1960, pg. 56-58
  • 949 - Minton, S.A., 1972, Amphibians and Reptiles of Indiana, Indiana Academy of Science Monograph, Vol. 3, 346 pgs., Indiana Academy of Science, Indianapolis
  • 972 - Smith, P.W., 1961, The amphibians and reptiles of Illinois , Illinois Nat. Hist. Surv. Bull., Vol. 28, Num. 1, pg. 1-298
  • 1009 - Bishop, S.C., 1943, Handbook of Salamanders, 555 pgs., Comstock Publ. Co., New York, NY
  • 1014 - Martof, B.S., Palmer, W.M., Bailey, J.R., Harrison, III J.R., 1980, Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia, 264 pgs., UNC Press, Chapel Hill, NC
  • 3582 - Marking, L.L., 1975, Effects of pH on toxicity of antimycin to fish., J. Fish. Res. Board Can., Vol. 32, pg. 769-773
  • 3810 - Bell, E.L., 1955, An aggregation of salamanders, Proc. PA Acad. Aci., Vol. 29, pg. 265-266


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