Picture of Cave Salamander in Bluff Dwellers Cavern

A Cave Salamander in Bluff Dwellers Cavern

Eurycea lucifuga

 

Family Name: Plethodontidae

Genus: Eurycea

Species Name: lucifuga

Pronunciation:

Common Name: cave salamader

 

The Cave Salamander also known as the spotted-tail salamander can be found in Alabama, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Kansas.  They typically dwell in the twilight zones of caves (dimly lit area beyond the cave entrance) , close to caves or under moist rocks and logs.  They typically are only active at night, but after heavy rains they can often be found resting on rocks or boulders during the day.

Typically bright orange in color,but varying from yellow-brown to orange-red, this medium-sized salamander can be distinguished by the spotless yellow orange belly and long tail with a black tip.  They range from 4 to 6 inches in length.

The Cave Salamander scampers quickly away from its predators, often waving its tail to distract attention away from its head.  Their prey consists of small organisms and food for larger creatures such as fish, birds, reptiles and mammals.