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Three-lined Salamander, Eurycea guttolineata

Formerly a sub-species of E. longicauda.  The Three-lined Salamander is a mainly terrestrial salamander found in the western coastal plain of TN and in a few low elevation localities in east TN.

Description: A long, slender species (4.0 to 7.0 inches in length) having a yellowish to orangish dorsum with a black stripe along the spine and a black stripe along either side of the body. 

The tail is very long and the sides of the tail have vertical, black, parallel bars appearing as a wavy stripe. Belly is a mixture of greenish-gray and yellow.

Similar Species: Long-tailed Salamander can be distinguished by lack of solid stripes and different range.

Habitat: Beneath logs or leaves in flooded forests or along wet ditches. Also uses seepage areas around springs and slow-moving, low-elevation streams.

Diet: A variety of invertebrates, mostly insects.

Breeding information: Very little known of their reproductive activities. Female lays 8-14 eggs in swamps, vernal pools, or slow-moving streams in fall or winter. Hatchling salamanders spend 4-6 months in the larval period before metamorphosing into adults.

Status in Tennessee: Abundant throughout much of their range. Potential threats include loss of bottomland hardwood forest.

Fun Facts:

  • Nicknamed “the gentleman salamander” because of its lack of territorial aggressiveness towards other individuals.

Best places to see in Tennessee: Swamps and flooded forests in west TN.

Three-lined Salamander
Three-lined Salamander
Three-lined Salamander Range Map
Three-lined Salamander Range Map


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.

Jensen, J. B., Camp C. D., Gibbons, W., and Elliot, M. J. 2008. Amphibians and Reptiles of Georgia, University of Georgia Press, Athens, GA. 575pp.