A small, permanently gilled salamander. This species has little pigmentation, being mostly pink or whitish with scattered black spots on the back and sides. The limbs are slender limbs and the eyes are very reduced. The head is broad and the snout is longer than most salamanders. The tail is laterally compressed with a fin. Adults are 51-76 mm total length with 12-13 costal grooves. Juveniles are similar to adults with slighty more pigmentation. This species does not undergo metamorphosis, and is adapted to a subterranean existance (Brandon 1967; Means 1992; Petranka 1998).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: United States
U.S. state distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Florida, Georgia
This species has only been found in a few localities in southwestern Georgia and adjacent Florida. Individuals occur in subterranean streams and aquifers in limestone formations (Petranka 1998).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Few individuals have been observed and very little is known about the biology of this species. Breeding may be aseasonal as gravid females have been found in fall and spring. Individuals apparently spend most of their time on the bottom of pools in underground caves, but they have also been seen underwater on limestone sidewalls, where they move over rough vertical faces and ledges. Most animals that have been found are immatures and it is possible that there are habitat use differences across age classes. Predators may include crayfish, eels, and fish (bullhead and chub), as well as conspecifics (Means 1992). Prey items include ostracods, amphipods, isopods, copepods, mites, and beetles. See references in Petranka (1998).
Trends and Threats
Classified as Rare in Florida due to the restricted geographic range, small number of known populations, and specialized habitat type (Means 1992).The Rare status implies that populations not currently endangered or threatened are at risk due to restricted ranges or patchy distribution, both of which apply to H. wallacei (Moler 1992). Alteration of habitat by pollution from agriculture or changes in the level of the water table are serious threats to populations of the Georgia blind salamander (Means 1992).
Brandon, R. A. (1967). ''Haideotriton and H. wallacei.'' Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 39.1-39.2.
Means, D. B. (1992). ''Georgia Blind Salamander.'' Rare and Endangered Biota of Florida. Volume 3. Amphibians and Reptiles. Moler, P. E., eds., University Press Florida, Gainesville, FL, 49-53.
Moler, P. E. (ed.) (1992). Rare and Endangered Biota of Florida. Volume 3. Amphibians and Reptiles. University Press of Florida
Petranka, J. W. (1998). Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. and London.
Originally submitted by: Meredith J. Mahoney (first posted 2000-07-24)
Edited by: M. J. Mahoney (2001-05-09)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2001 Eurycea wallacei: Georgia Blind Salamander <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/4067> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Feb 7, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 7 Feb 2023.
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