A small (4 inches; 10 cm), slender salamander with a long tail. The body coloration is usually yellow or yellowish orange with 2 distinct dark lateral lines extending from eye to tail. The mid-dorsal region is often peppered with small black dots. Color variants occur in nature and include specimens that are more yellow than normal or have reduced black lines.
Eggs are attached to the underside of rocks on stream bottoms. Larvae may take several years to complete metamorphosis.
Aquatic larvae are dark brown with a series of light dots extending down the side beginning just behind the shoulder. The back may also have lighter coloration than the sides. The tail fin is reddish tan with black peppering. A dark line extends from the eye to the gills, which are well developed.
Streams and brooks with rocky bottoms may be preferred. However, the species can be found in a variety of habitats. The author has found adults under flat stones near swampy habitat without running water, and in river flood plains (both in Ohio). Running water does not seem to be a necessity.
A variety of invertebrates.
A wide range throughout the eastern United States. The distribution of this species in Connecticut is quite extensive, with many known populations in every county. Only the Red-backed Salamander has a wider distribution in the state.
Not protected by Connecticut.
Behler, J.L. and F.W.King. 1979. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. New York: Knopf. 719 pp.
Conant, R. and J.T. Collins. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern/Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 450 pp.
Klemens, M.W. 1993. Amphibians and Reptiles of Connecticut and Adjacent Regions. Hartford, CT: State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut Bulletin 112. 318 pp.
Text by Gregory J. Watkins-Colwell.
Photographs © Twan Leenders. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Animals featured in photographs on this page are from Connecticut.