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Junaluska Salamander, Eurycea junaluska

The Junaluska Salamander occurs in small area of lower elevation streams on Tennessee-North Carolina border.

Description: A slender, small salamander (3.0 to 4.0 inches in length) with yellowish-orange body covered with black flecks along the sides of the body and tail forming a vague wavy line. Tail is relatively short and limbs are long. Belly is light colored.

Similar Species: Southern Two-lined and Blue Ridge Two-lined Salamanders have distinct black stripes on their sides and longer tails.

Habitat: Found along edges of medium to large streams and under rocks or other structures in the streams.

Diet: Small, aquatic invertebrates; especially stonefly and caddisfly.

Breeding information: Pairs breed along streams between autumn and spring. Females lay 30-49 eggs under large rocks in the streams where they attend them until hatching. Larval period lasts for 2-3 years.

Status in Tennessee: Tennessee populations appear to be stable; however in 1994 TWRA listed the Black Mountain Salamander as "In Need of Management." Some North Carolina populations appear to be affected by stream modification or pollution.

Fun Facts:

  • Named in honor of Cherokee Chief Junaluska, who is credited with saving Andrew Jackson's life before he became president.

Best places to see in Tennessee: Lower elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Junaluska Salamander
Junaluska Salamander
Junaluska Salamander Range Map
Junaluska Salamander Range Map

Sources:

Conant, R. and Collins, J. 1998. Peterson Field Guides: Reptiles and Amphibians (Eastern/Central North America). Houghton Mifflin Company, New York. 616pp.

Dodd, Jr., C.K. 2004. The Amphibians of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville TN.