Adult males are about 67-92 mm in length; females are 61-97 mm. Small, slender body with broad, greenish yellow or orangish dorsum bordered on either side with a dark brown or black stripe, which starts at the snout, widening at the back of the eyes and extends onto the laterally compressed tail. Sides mottled from darkest to lightest when moving towards the yellow venter. Dorsum also has many scattered black spots or blotches. There are about 13-16 costal grooves (Bishop 1943; Petranka 1998).
The sides of the female head are almost parallel back of the eyes, converging to a bluntly rounded snout. The male head widens back of the eyes with a snout somewhat swollen in the area of the nasolabial grooves and sometimes small blunt cirri below the nostrils. The long diameter of the eyes is about equal to the length of the snout. Small, oval tongue with a central pedicel. Irregular line of vomerine teeth and parasphenoid teeth in elongate separate patches (Bishop 1943; Petranka 1998).
Breeding males have unicuspid and elongated teeth relative to bicuspid teeth of females. Male has premaxillary teeth that often pierces male's lip. Unicuspid teeth replaced with typical bicuspid teeth when breeding season ends (Petranka 1998).
Hatchlings and older larvae are dusky colored with six to nine pairs of light dorsolateral spots on body. Streamlined body with tail fin stopping near insertion of rear limbs. Usually light-colored venter with many iridophores. Large larvae from extreme northern parts of the range sometimes have dark colored throats and bellies (Petranka 1998).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Canada, United States
U.S. state distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia
Canadian province distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Quebec
Southeastern Canada to Gulf Coast and west to Louisiana, Arkansas, and Illinois; elevations from sea level to 2000 m. Found beneath rocks and logs by small, rocky streams or seeps and in forest floor far from running water. During breeding season, can be found beneath submerged rocks and debris in streams (Petranka 1998).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Courtship: Male noses other animals nearby until he encounters a female, which may then be stimulated to follow him and pick up spermatophores, a gelatinous base capped with an elongate head (Bishop 1943). Aggressive courting males will attempt to drive off intruding rival males (Petranka 1998).
Eggs: Females lay unpigmented or white to pale yellow eggs with a diameter of 2.5-3 mm. Clutch size positively correlates with size of female. Two envelopes surround the eggs; the outer one is drawn out to form an attachment disk (Bishop 1943). Sometimes in the same place as others, a female attaches eggs singly to lower surface of a support in running, but rarely stagnant water. Ovipositional sites usually attended by at least one adult through hatching. Incubation period is about 4-10 weeks, depending on temperature of water (Petranka 1998).
Larvae: In an aquatic environment, hatch with yolk reserves and most likely do not start feeding until yolk is mostly resorbed. Often live in the slow moving pools of streams; rarely in fast currents unless drifting. Mostly benthic feeders, hunting stream bottoms or over rocks for prey such as isopods, amphipods, chironomid larvae, and zooplankton. Larval period length is about 2-3 years; tends to be longer in northern than southern populations (Petranka 1998).
In a terrestrial environment, live along stream margins and surrounding forests, making seasonal migrations to and from breeding streams. Juveniles and adults both feed on prey such as wood roaches, spiders, ticks, earthworms, isopods, millipedes, beetles, snails, and flies (Petranka 1998).
Defense: Adults will actively defend home shelters by aggressive posturing or biting. Predators include owls, snakes, and fish. Most E. bislineata become immobile when contacted by snakes but will engage in protean flipping and flight when contacted by the snake's tongue. The decision to stay or flee depends on the individual's physical abilities. Can also autotomize the tail when attacked by snakes (Petranka 1998).
Trends and Threats
Relatively common species and requires minimal protection. Like other species of salamanders, sensitive to intensive timbering, land clearing, stream pollution, and stream siltation. Avoids urban areas or highly disturbed land and soils with low pH (Petranka 1998).
Bishop, S.C. (1943). Handbook of Salamanders. Comstock Publishing Company, Inc., Ithaca, New York.
Petranka, J. W. (1998). Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington and London.
Written by Chih Wang (chihwang AT uclink.berkeley.edu), AmphibiaWeb
First submitted 2001-05-07
Edited by Tate Tunstall, Kevin Gin (12/03) (2003-12-04)
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb: Information on
amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. 2016. Berkeley, California:
(Accessed: May 29, 2016).
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