Other Amphibian of the Week

Tennessee Cave Salamander (Gyrinophilus palleucus)

photo by wikiuser Sesamehoneytart

Common Name: Tennessee Cave Salamander
Scientific Name: Gyrinophilus palleucus
Family: Plethodontidae
Location: Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee
Size: 9 inches

The Tennessee Cave Salamander is a neotenic salamander found in caves in the southern Appalachian Mountains. It is the official amphibian of the state of Tennessee. There are two subspecies, the Pale Salamander (G. p. palleucus)and the Big Mouth Cave Salamander (G. p. necturoides). The Big Mouth Cave Salamander is darker and more heavily spotter than the Pale Salamander. Not much is really known about the life history of the salamander because of its secretive lifestyle and we may never know. Populations of the Tennessee Cave Salamander are declining because of pollution from mining, agriculture, and urbanization.

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