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southern two-lined salamander

southern two-lined salamander (Eurycea cirrigera) Photo © Brad M. Glorioso

Features and Behaviors

The southern two-lined salamander averages two and one-half to three and three-quarter inches in length. It has two dark lines that border a broad, light stripe on the back. The body is essentially yellow but may be brown, green, bronze or orange. The broad, light stripe may have many small, black spots in it. The tail makes up 55-60 percent of the total body length.

The southern two-lined salamander may be found in east central and southeastern Illinois. It lives in moist woodlands and creeks. This amphibian searches for food in water or among rocks and tree roots along the water’s edge. It may travel on the forest floor in wet weather but returns to water as drying occurs. The female lays about 30 eggs in water during the early spring. Eggs are attached to rocks, logs or aquatic plants and hatch in May or June. Transformation to the adult form occurs in one to three years, being completed when the larva reaches about two inches in length. The southern two-lined salamander eats insects and other invertebrates.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Caudata
Family: Plethodontidae

Illinois Status: common, native