stereos is Greek meaning "firm or solid", cheilos is Greek for "lip". Referring to the manner of tongue attachment.
marginatus is Latin meaning "bordered or lined". Referring to streaked/striped color pattern found on some individuals of this species.
2.5 - 3.75 in. (6.4 - 9.5 cm)
|Virginia Record Length:|
4.5 in. (11.4 cm)
Virginia Wildlife Action Plan Rating Tier IV - Moderate Conservation Need - The species may be rare in parts of its range, particularly on the periphery. Populations of these species have demonstrated a significant declining trend or one is suspected which, if continued, is likely to qualify this species for a higher tier in the foreseeable future. Long-term planning is necessary to stabilize or increase populations.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: This species is 64-114 mm, yellowish brown with light and dark streaks or lines on the lower sides. The back is usually unmarked with small, indistinct dark or light spots. The belly is pale dusky yellow with scattered brown flecks. The head is small, narrow and flattened. They have a relatively short tail that is keeled and laterally compressed *1014*. Sensory pits on the head are conspicuous. The vomerine and parasphenoid series is continuous. There are alternating light and dark longitudinal lines on the sides *1009*. Reproduction: In midwinter, the female deposits a clutch of 60 eggs that hatch in early spring *1014*.
BEHAVIOR: This species inhabits swamps and shallow cypress or gum ponds in savannahs. It is aquatic and in dry weather the adult hides under leaf litter, sphagnum mats, or rotten logs *1014*. They are most abundant in pools, slow streams, and swampy woods *1009*. They nest in logs near water, and prefer plant and stone laying sites *967*. The female deposits the eggs on aquatic moss, twigs, or under the surface of submerged logs. They remain with the eggs until hatching and the larvae transform in late spring and summer after 2 years *967*.
References for Life History