Eurycea longicauda - (Green, 1818)
Longtail Salamander
Other English Common Names: longtail salamander
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Eurycea longicauda (Green, 1818) (TSN 173687)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.100456
Element Code: AAAAD05040
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Amphibians - Salamanders
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae Eurycea
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B85FRO01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Eurycea longicauda
Taxonomic Comments: Eurycea guttolineata formerly was included in Eurycea longicauda. Martof et al. (1980) regarded E. longicauda and E. guttolineata as distinct species, based mainly on sympatry between guttolineata and longicauda without evidence of intergradation along the Blue Ridge escarpment. However, Ireland (1979) stated that the evidence is inconclusive and noted that guttolineata and longicauda intergrade in northern Alabama and surrounding areas (Valentine 1962, Mount 1975). On this evidence, Ireland (1979), Dundee and Rossman (1989), Conant and Collins (1991), and some other recent herpetofaunal accounts treated guttolineata as a subspecies of E. longicauda. Carlin (1997) examined genetic and morphological variation in the putative intergrade zone and found several fixed allozyme differences and no support for intergrade specimens or a zone of intermediates; he concluded that the two taxa are distinct species.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 22Mar2002
Global Status Last Changed: 18Oct2001
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Large range in eastern North America; strip mining and acid drainage from coal mining likely have impacted many populations, but this species remains widely distributed and is in minimal need of protection.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Nov1996)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S3), Arkansas (SNR), Delaware (S1), District of Columbia (SNR), Georgia (S4), Illinois (SNR), Indiana (SNR), Kansas (S2), Kentucky (S5), Maryland (S5), Mississippi (S4), Missouri (SNR), New Jersey (S2), New York (S2S3), North Carolina (S1S2), Ohio (SNR), Oklahoma (S2S3), Pennsylvania (S5), Tennessee (S5), Virginia (S5), West Virginia (S5)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Southern New York to Missouri, south to Arkansas, Tennessee, extreme northeastern Mississippi, northern Alabama, extreme northwestern Georgia, western North Carolina, and northwestern Virginia (Carlin 1997).

Number of Occurrences:  
Number of Occurrences Comments: Represented by many and/or large occurrences throughout the range.

Population Size: 100,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but likely exceeds 100,000.

Viability/Integrity Comments: Likely many occurrences have good viability.

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Most threats to habitat appear to be localized and not pervasive.

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: No data, but probably stable to slightly declining in population size, area of occurrence, and number/condition of occurrences.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%
Long-term Trend Comments: Stable in extent of occurrence, likely has declined less than 25% in population size, area of occurrence, and number/condition of occurrences.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) Southern New York to Missouri, south to Arkansas, Tennessee, extreme northeastern Mississippi, northern Alabama, extreme northwestern Georgia, western North Carolina, and northwestern Virginia (Carlin 1997).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, DC, DE, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, TN, VA, WV

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: IUCN, Conservation International, NatureServe, and collaborators, 2004


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
DE New Castle (10003)
KS Cherokee (20021), Crawford (20037)
MS Tishomingo (28141)
NC Alleghany (37005)*, Clay (37043), Graham (37075), Haywood (37087), Macon (37113), Swain (37173)*, Watauga (37189)
NJ Hunterdon (34019), Mercer (34021)*, Middlesex (34023)*, Morris (34027), Somerset (34035), Sussex (34037), Union (34039), Warren (34041)
NY Cattaraugus (36009), Chemung (36015), Chenango (36017), Livingston (36051), Orange (36071), Schuyler (36097), Steuben (36101), Sullivan (36105), Tioga (36107)
OK Cherokee (40021), Delaware (40041), Ottawa (40115)
TN Anderson (47001)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Rondout (02020007)+, Hackensack-Passaic (02030103)+*, Raritan (02030105)+, Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead (02040104)+, Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105)+, Brandywine-Christina (02040205)+, Upper Susquehanna (02050101)+, Owego-Wappasening (02050103)+, Tioga (02050104)+, Chemung (02050105)+
04 Upper Genesee (04130002)+, Seneca (04140201)+
05 Upper Allegheny (05010001)+, Upper New (05050001)+*
06 Watauga (06010103)+, Pigeon (06010106)+, Upper Little Tennessee (06010202)+, Lower Little Tennessee (06010204)+, Lower Clinch (06010207)+, Bear (06030006)+
11 Lake O' the Cherokees (11070206)+, Spring (11070207)+, Lower Neosho (11070209)+, Illinois (11110103)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: An elongate salamander.
General Description: The length of adults ranges from 10 to 15.9 cm (4 to 6.25 inches), with the record being 19.7 cm (7.75 inches). The ground color varies from yellow to orange or even red, and vertical black markings are present on the tail. These markings are usually conspicuous, although they may vary from the herringbone or "dumbbell" theme that is often described. The black markings on the tail are larger and more conspicuous on some individuals from scattered portions of the range. The young have a relatively short tail (Conant and Collins 1998).
Diagnostic Characteristics: This species differs from other similar salamanders in having a relatively longer tail with black vertical bars on the sides and 13 or 14 costal grooves.
Reproduction Comments: Lays several dozen eggs singly or in small clusters. Aquatic larvae hatch in 6-8 weeks, metamorphose in a few to several months, mature in 1-2 years.
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND, Riparian, TEMPORARY POOL
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood
Subterranean Habitat(s): Subaquatic, Subterrestrial
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Streamsides, spring runs, cave mouths, abandoned mines; also ponds in northern New Jersey (Conant and Collins 1991). May disperse into wooded terrestrial habitats in wet weather. Hides in rock crevices and under rocks, logs, and other debris. Eggs are laid in underground crevices associated with springs, temporary pools, and streams; under rocks in streams; in woodland ponds; or are attached to objects in or above water in caves.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats a wide variety of small, primarily terrestrial invertebrates.
Adult Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Active April-October in Indiana.
Length: 20 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Aquatic/Wetland Plethodontid Salamanders

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including larvae or eggs) in or near appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Busy highway, especially with high traffic volume at night; other totally inappropriate habitat that the salamanders cannot traverse.
Alternate Separation Procedure: Separation distance for stream-dwelling species along riverine corridors: 10 stream km. Separation distance for other freshwater aquatic and wetland habitats: 3 km. Separation distance for upland habitat: 1 km.
Separation Justification: These salamanders rarely successfully cross roadways that have heavy traffic volume at night, when most movements occur. Salamanders in this Specs Group, except strictly subterranean species, tend to be able to traverse upland habitat when conditions are wet, and generally they can pass through atypical wetland and aquatic habitats to reach another patch of suitable habitat. However, Grover and Wilbur (2002) created replicated seeps at distances of 3, 15, and more than 30 m from streams or natural seeps and found that Desmognathus fuscus and Gyrinophilus porphyriticus colonized the new seeps at 3 m and 15 m but were rare or absent at new seeps more than 30 m from the nearest stream or natural seep.

Although these specifications do not include rivers as barriers, Adams and Beachy (2001) documented morphological variation among populations of Gyrinophilus porphyriticus in the southern Appalachian Mountains and found patterns "consistent with the hypothesis that large rivers restrict sizable gene flow." Large rivers probably function at least as unsuitable habitat for many species in this Specs Group.

Compared to larger ambystomatid salamanders, the movements of plethodontids are poorly documented, but home ranges likely tend to be very small, on the order of a few meters to a few dozen meters in length or diameter. Yet, on occasion, dispersing individuals likely travel at least several hundred meters, and stream-dwelling species likely disperse much farther along riverine corridors. Over a number of years, it is likely that these salamanders can spread multiple kilometers through suitable habitat.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .1 km
Date: 28Oct2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 22Mar2002
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 19Aug2005
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • BEHLER, JOHN C. AND F. WAYNE KING. 1979. THE AUDOBON SOCIETY FIELD GUIDE TO NORTH AMERICAN REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS. NEW YORK. KNOPF. 719PP.

  • Barbour, R. W. 1971. Amphibians and reptiles of Kentucky. Univ. Press of Kentucky, Lexington. x + 334 pp.

  • Behler, J. L., and F. W. King. 1979. The Audubon Society field guide to North American reptiles and amphibians. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 719 pp.

  • Bishop, S.C. 1941. The salamanders of New York. New York State Museum Bulletin No. 324. Albany, NY.

  • Blackburn, L., P. Nanjappa, and M. J. Lannoo. 2001. An Atlas of the Distribution of U.S. Amphibians. Copyright, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA.

  • CONANT, R. 1975. A FIELD GUIDE TO REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS OFEASTERN AND CENTRAL NORTH AMERICA.

  • Carlin, J. L. 1997. Genetic and morphological differentiation between Eurycea longicauda longicauda and E. guttolineata (Caudata: Plethodontidae). Herpetologica 53:206-217.

  • Cliburn, J.W. 1976. A key to the amphibians and reptiles of Mississippi. Fourth edition. Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, Jackson, Mississippi. 71 pp.

  • Conant, R. 1975. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Second Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. xvii + 429 pp.

  • Conant, R. and J. T. Collins. 1991. A field guide to reptiles and amphibians: eastern and central North America. Third edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Massachusetts. 450 pp.

  • Conant, R., and J. T. Collins. 1998. A field guide to reptiles and amphibians: eastern and central North America. Third edition, expanded. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Massachusetts. 616 pp.

  • Cook, F.A. 1957. Salamanders of Mississippi. Mississippi Game and Fish Commission Museum. 28 pp.

  • Crother, B. I. (editor). 2008. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Sixth edition. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Herpetological Circular 37:1-84.

  • DeGraaf, R.M. and D.D. Rudis. 1981. Forest habitat for reptiles and amphibians of the northeast. United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Eastern Region, Milwaukee, WI. 239 pp.

  • Dundee, H.E., and D.A. Rossman. 1989. The amphibians and reptiles of Louisiana. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge. 300 pp.

  • Elliott, W. R. 2003. A guide to Missouri's cave life: 70 species brought to life. Missouri Department of Conservation. 37 pp.

  • Ewert, Michael A., et. al. 1992. Field Survey of Amphibians and Reptiles of the Hoosier National Forest First Year Report. Report for the USDA Forest Service, Eastern Region, Hoosier National Forest, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife.

  • Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.

  • Green, N. B., and T. K. Pauley. 1987. Amphibians and reptiles in West Virginia. University of Pittsburg Press, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. xi + 241 pp.

  • Ireland, P.H. 1979. Eurycea longicauda. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. 221:1-4.

  • Jackson, J., et.al. 1996. The Herptofauna of the Brock-Sampson Nature Preserve Located in Floyd County, Indiana. 12 pages.

  • Lohoefener, R. and R. Altig. 1983. Mississippi herpetology. Mississippi State University Research Center, NSTL Station, Mississippi. 66 pp.

  • MCCOY CJ 1982 AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES IN PENNSYLVANIA: CHECKLIST, BIBLIOGRAPHY, AND ATLAS OF DISTRIBUTION. SP PUB CARNEGIE MUS NAT HIST, NO 6 PG 1-91,74MAPS

  • Martof, B. S., W. M. Palmer, J. R. Bailey, and J. R. Harrison, III. 1980. Amphibians and reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 264 pp.

  • Minton, S. A., Jr. 1972. Amphibians and reptiles of Indiana. Indiana Academy Science Monographs 3. v + 346 pp.

  • Minton, S. A., Jr. 2001. Amphibians & reptiles of Indiana. Revised second edition. Indiana Academy of Science, Indianapolis. xiv + 404 pp.

  • Mirarchi, R.E., editor. 2004. Alabama Wildlife. Volume 1. A checklist of vertebrates and selected invertebrates: aquatic mollusks, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 209 pages.

  • Mount, R. H. 1975. The reptiles and amphibians of Alabama. Auburn University Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, Alabama. vii + 347 pages.

  • Mount, R. H. 1975. The reptiles and amphibians of Alabama. Auburn University Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, Alabama. vii + 347 pp.

  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. 1985. Checklist of the amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals of New York State, including their protective status. Nongame Unit. Wildlife Resources Center. Delmar, NY.

  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. 2005. Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy Planning Database. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Albany, NY.

  • Petranka, J. W. 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

  • Petranka, J.W. 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., 587pp.

  • Pfingsten, R. A., and F. L. Downs, eds. 1989. Salamanders of Ohio. Bull. Ohio Biological Survey 7(2):xx + 315 pp.

  • RUNDQUIST, E.M., AND J.T. COLLINS. 1977. THE AMPHIBIANS OF CHEROKEE COUNTY, KANSAS. REPORTS OF THE STATE BIOL. SURVEY OF KS NO. 14

  • SEYLE, W., AND G. K. WILLIAMSON. 1988 (IN PREP). REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS OF GEORGIA: RANGE MAPS

  • Valentine, B. D. 1962. Intergrading populations and distribution of the salamander EURYCEA LONGICAUDA in the Gulf states. J. Ohio Herpetol. Soc. 3(3):42-51.

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