Eurycea lucifuga - Rafinesque, 1822
Cave Salamander
Other English Common Names: cave salamander
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Eurycea lucifuga Rafinesque, 1822 (TSN 173691)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.102314
Element Code: AAAAD05050
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 lucifuga
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 22Mar2002
Global Status Last Changed: 23Oct2001
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
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 (S4), Arkansas (S4), Georgia (S4), Illinois (S4), Indiana (S4), Kansas (S1), Kentucky (S5), Mississippi (S1), Missouri (S5), Ohio (S2), Oklahoma (S3), Tennessee (S5), Virginia (S4), West Virginia (S3)

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: Eastern Oklahoma to northern Virginia, north to central Indiana, south to central Alabama (Conant and Collins 1991).

Number of Occurrences: 81 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Many occurrences.

Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown.

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

Overall Threat Impact: Medium

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: No data but likely stable.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%
Long-term Trend Comments: No data, but likely stable for most criteria.

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)) Eastern Oklahoma to northern Virginia, north to central Indiana, south to central Alabama (Conant and Collins 1991).

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, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MO, MS, OH, OK, 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)
GA Dade (13083), Walker (13295), Whitfield (13313)
KS Cherokee (20021), Crawford (20037)
MS Tishomingo (28141)
OH Adams (39001)*, Butler (39017), Hamilton (39061)
OK Adair (40001), Cherokee (40021), Delaware (40041), Muskogee (40101), Sequoyah (40135)
TN Roane (47145)
WV Fayette (54019), Greenbrier (54025), Mercer (54055), Monroe (54063), Pocahontas (54075)*, Summers (54089)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Conasauga (03150101)+, Upper Coosa (03150105)+
05 Middle New (05050002)+, Greenbrier (05050003)+, Lower New (05050004)+, Lower Scioto (05060002)+*, Lower Great Miami (05080002)+, Whitewater (05080003)+, Ohio Brush-Whiteoak (05090201)+*, Middle Ohio-Laughery (05090203)+
06 Lower Clinch (06010207)+, Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga (06020001)+, Bear (06030006)+
11 Lake O' the Cherokees (11070206)+, Spring (11070207)+, Lower Neosho (11070209)+, Dirty-Greenleaf (11110102)+, Illinois (11110103)+, Robert S. Kerr Reservoir (11110104)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Lays clutch of 50-90 eggs (singly), fall-spring. Aquatic larvae metamorphose in 1-2 years.
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): Pool, SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood
Subterranean Habitat(s): Subaquatic
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Caves (usually limestone); also rocky streams and springs, and wooded areas and fields, usually near caves or limestone outcrops. Hides under objects during day in noncave areas, except in wet weather when it may be in the open. Eggs are laid in cave streams or pools, springs, or in rocky streams outside of caves. Larvae remain in cave pools until winter or early spring when pools begin to overflow; larvae washed into larger streams, remain there until metamorphosis
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Adults eat a variety of small terrestrial invertebrates.
Adult Phenology: Circadian, Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Circadian, Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Usually active nocturnally outside of caves, may be active at any hour in caves.
Length: 18 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: 06Jan1989
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
Help
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • COLLINS, J.T. 1982. AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES IN KANSAS. UNIV.KANS.MUS.NAT.HIST., PUB.EDUCA.SERIES NO.8.

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

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

  • Collins, J. T. 1993. Amphibians and reptiles in Kansas. Third edition, revised. University of Kansas Museum of Natural History, Public Education Series No. 13. xx + 397 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.

  • Cooper, M., and R.L. Jones. 1989. Cave Salamander. In Endangered Species of MS.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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  • Hutchison, V.H. 1966. Eurycea lucifuga. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles 24.1-24.2.

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  • JUTERBOCK, J. E. 1986. THE ECOLOGY OF CAVE SALAMANDERS, EURYCEA LUCIFUGA, IN HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO. UNPUBL. REPORT TO DIV. NATURAL AREAS AND PRESERVES, OHIO DNR. 39 PP

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