Northern Two-lined Salamander
Eurycea bislineata

Common Name:

Northern Two-lined Salamander

Scientific Name:

Eurycea bislineata



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


bislineata is Latin meaning "two lined or striped". Referring to the two lines found on the dorsum.

Average Length:

2.5 - 3.3 in. (6.4 - 9.5 cm)

Virginia Record Length:

Record length:

4.8 in. (12.1 cm)

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The dorsal band is bright greenish-yellow to orange- yellow or brownish, not strongly suffused with dusky, but with small black flecks are often arranged in a linear series along the mid-line. The sides below the dorsolateral dark strip are uniformly grayish or mottled extending to the upper level of the legs. There is a glandular protuberance on base of the tail above in the adult males. The length can be up to 97 mm *1009*.

REPRODUCTION: This species resorts to water during the egg-laying season *1009*. The courtship occurs in the fall. The eggs are laid in the winter and spring. The eggs are deposited on the undersurfaces of rocks, logs, usually in running water. The female remains with eggs until hatching the aquatic larvae *865*.

BEHAVIOR: This species inhabits brooksides and hides beneath stones and logs in well saturated soil. This species swims freely *1009*. It lives near spring seepages and streams in hardwood forests and swamps *1014*. It is very moisture dependent, and retreats to moist cover during dry periods *917*. Over 98% of the activity is confined to dark hours and is correlated with precipitation. It occurs along streams and in swamps around lakes *965*. This species requires moisture and a temperature of 12.8 degrees C to trigger spring breeding migration *857*. It hibernates with the approach of winter, lowered soil temperature, and/or adverse moisture conditions *986*.

ORIGIN: This species is native *1008*.

For additional information see: The Distribution and Identification of Two-lined Salamanders in Virginia

References for Life History

  • 857 - Baldauf, R.J., 1952, Climatic factors influencing the breeding migration of the spotted salamander, Ambystoma maculatum, Copeia, Vol. 1952, pg. 179-181
  • 865 - Bishop, S.C., 1941, The salamanders of New York, New York State Mus. Bull., Vol. 324, pg. 1-365
  • 917 - Heatwole, H., 1962, Environmental factors influencing local distribution and activity of the salamander Plethodon cinereus, Ecology, Vol. 43, pg. 460-472
  • 965 - Reed, C.F., 1955, Notes on salamanders from western Connecticut with special reference to Plethodon cinereus, Copeia, Vol. 1955, pg. 253-254
  • 986 - Vernberg, F.J., 1953, Hibernation studies of two species of salamanders Plethodon cinereus cinereus and Eurycea bislineata, Ecology, Vol. 34, pg. 55-62
  • 1008 - Barbour, R.W., 1971, Amphibians and reptiles of Kentucky, 334 pgs., Univ. of Kentucky Press, Lexington, KY
  • 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


*Click on a thumbnail for a larger version.

Verified County/City Occurrence

Albemarle County
Alexandria City
Arlington County
Augusta County
Bath County
Clarke County
Culpeper County
Fairfax City
Fairfax County
Fauquier County
Frederick County
Greene County
Harrisonburg City
Highland County
Loudoun County
Madison County
Nelson County
Orange County
Page County
Prince William County
Rappahannock County
Rockbridge County
Rockingham County
Shenandoah County
Stafford County
Warren County
Verified in 26 Counties/Cities.

Box Turtle Reporting

VHS Amazon Smile

Spadefoot Reporting