Cave Salamander (Eurycea lucifuga)

photo by Todd Pierson
least concern

Common Name: Cave Salamander
Scientific Name: Eurycea lucifuga
Family: Plethodontidae – Lungless Salamanders
Locations: United States – Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia
Size: 3.9 – 8 inches (100 – 200 mm) total length 

The Cave Salamander can be found in and around caves, hence the name. They are also found along springs and streams. They primarily in the limestone regions. Cave Salamanders are adept climbers and climb the walls of caves and limestone rocks. Due to their secretive lifestyle, much of their behaviors are unknown.

While the salamander is listed as Least Concern by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, its populations in certain states are dwindling. In Ohio, Kansas, and Mississippi, they are listed as an endangered species. In West Virginia, they are listed as rare. The main threat is habitat destruction due to their specific habitat requirements.

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