Long-Tailed Salamander: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

Long-Tailed Salamander Fact File

All human beings and mammals breathe through the nose, however, have you ever wondered if there are other species of animals having various other techniques to breathe? Yes, not all animals breathe through the nose. One of these is the long-tailed salamanders. Long-tailed salamanders breathe through their skin, isn't it surprising? Also, they can regrow new tails if twisted off.

A long-tailed salamander, Eurycea longicauda, is a lungless salamander found in the United States of America. It is yellowish-brown or yellowish-orange in color with black spots all over its body. It has a tail that makes up more than half of its body length. Adults, irrespective of their sex, males, and females, inherit similar appearances. While long-tailed salamander larvae inhabit aquatic environments, adults reside in terrestrial habitats.

Long-tailed salamanders have two to three subspecies: eastern long-tailed salamander, black long-tailed salamander, and midland long-tailed salamander. It is a cave salamander as it lives in caves near streams, ponds, and other aquatic habitats or abandoned mines, and locally abundant mine shafts.

If the uniqueness of the long-tailed salamander makes you interested to read more about similar species, you can read about tiger salamander facts and Chinese giant salamander facts.

Long-Tailed Salamander

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Terrestrial invertebrates

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

60-110 eggs

How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

4-8 in (10-20 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Dark yellow, yellowish-brown, or yellowish-orange

Skin Type


What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Streamsides and terrestrial lands


United States of America





Scientific Name

Eurycea longicauda





Long-Tailed Salamander Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a long-tailed salamander?

Long-tailed salamander, of the genus Eurycea, is one of the salamanders that are found in the United States of America. It is closely related to three-lined salamanders.

What class of animal does a long-tailed salamander belong to?

The long-tailed salamander, Eurycea longicauda, belongs to the class of amphibians. It is often confused between reptiles and amphibians, but while lizards are reptiles, salamanders are amphibians.

How many long-tailed salamanders are there in the world?

Populations of long-tailed salamanders are very large as there are approximately more than 100,000 species. It is speculated that the species have been affected due to habitat loss, and coal mining.

Where does a long-tailed salamander live?

The long-tailed salamanders' range is distributed throughout the Ohio River Valley, Ozark Highlands, and Appalachian Highlands in the United States of America. They are recorded to live in caves ranging from southern and eastern Missouri, throughout southern New York, West Virginia, northern Georgia, northern Alabama, North Carolina, New Jersey, eastern Ohio, and eastern Illinois.

What is a long-tailed salamander's habitat?

While long-tailed salamander larvae inhabit the aquatic habitat, adaptations of long-tailed salamander lack living in aquatic regions for adults. Adult long-tailed salamander habitat range around terrestrial habitat including areas nearby streams, ponds. Their habitat range around locally abundant mine shafts.

Who do long-tailed salamanders live with?

While some of the serious predators include mottled sculpins and sunfish. Long-tailed salamanders prey on types of invertebrates depending on the location. For example in New Jersey, they prey on invertebrates that range from spiders, beetles, moths, worms, and butterflies, whereas, more than 20 invertebrates are consumed by the populations of long-tailed salamander range in Ohio, long-tailed salamander distribution (Missouri, Virginia West, northern Georgia, and Indiana), long-tailed salamander (New York), long-tailed salamander (Tennessee), and other long-tailed salamander distribution (US). Thus, the species prefer to live with the invertebrates it preys on and avoid residing with its predators. Also, the species are speculated to live with families in caves.

How long does a long-tailed salamander live?

While the search to decipher the lifespan of a long-tailed salamander (Eurycea longicauda) didn't bring much information to light as the species are not bred in captivity. The search highlighted that the larval period ranges up to six months. The population of the family Plethodontidae is speculated to live from 5-10 years in the wild caves.

How do they reproduce?

While the Eurycea longicauda does not breed in captivity, the breeding mechanism remains unstudied. It is speculated that the breeding seasons of populations range from the late fall up to early spring. Females lay eggs during the early spring which further grow into larvae. During metamorphosis, the larval period ranges up to six months. Females lay 60-110 eggs that hatch in 4-12 weeks in the water near the streams and ponds. After the larval period, larvae undergo development into adults with the completion of metamorphosis. While adults can mate at an average age of two years, females lay eggs around the same age. The breeding is speculated to take place between adults up to once a year. Adults of long-tailed salamander care for their offspring.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the species of long-tailed salamanders is labeled as Least Concern. While there are considerable populations of species recorded, they are speculated to have a threat due to habitat loss, or coal mining.

Long-Tailed Salamander Fun Facts

What do long-tailed salamanders look like?

Long-tailed salamanders have slender yellow-colored bodies with long tails. The body consists of irregular black spots with inner dark-sided bellies. Salamanders are also known to change their color to red, brown, orange from yellow. The tail of salamanders is more than half the length of their body. They also inhabit to regrow a new tail over the old lost tail.

A dark-colored yellow salamander with irregular black spots on its body.

How cute are they?

With a slender and slimy yellow-colored body of considerable length, salamander is found to be one of the cutest species.

How do they communicate?

While long-tailed salamanders use chemical methods, the species is speculated to develop a sense of sight and smell to communicate. Further, the habit of head-rubbing also assists in communication.

How big is a long-tailed salamander?

Long-tailed salamanders are almost ten times smaller than the largest salamander, the Chinese giant salamander. The total length of the long-tailed salamander is 4-8 in (10-20 cm), while the snout-vent length is computed to be 2 in (5 cm).

How fast can a long-tailed salamander move?

The speed of the long-tailed salamander is to be studied yet.

How much does a long-tailed salamander weigh?

The weight of the species is undeciphered.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no sex-specific names assigned to the species. The long-tailed salamander's scientific name is Eurycea longicauda.

What would you call a baby long-tailed salamander?

A juvenile has no specific name assigned.

What do they eat?

The long-tailed salamander diet consists of types of invertebrates that range from spiders, beetles, moths, worms, butterflies.

Are they poisonous?

No, yellow salamanders are not poisonous. While they may have a tendency to bite if threatened, they do not possess any poison.

Would they make a good pet?

No, a long-tailed (slender) salamander would not make a good pet.

Did you know...

The long-tailed salamander family is often confused between reptiles and amphibians. While lizards belong to the family of reptiles, salamanders belong to the family of amphibians.

The long-tailed salamander, Eurycea longicauda, is closely related to three-lined salamanders.

The species of long-tailed salamanders are also found living under the rotting logs and their habitat is said to range from aquatic streams or ponds to the terrestrial environment of coal mines. While long-tailed salamander eggs are laid and their development takes place in streams and other aquatic bodies, adults stay on lands. The breeding is done underwater.

The life cycle of metamorph long-tailed salamander consists of several stages such as eggs, larvae, juveniles, and adults.

The species also can regrow a new tail if the older tail is twisted off.

The conservation status of the species is not labeled as (long-tailed salamander) Endangered. Under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the conservation status of long-tailed salamanders is marked as Least Concern.

What is special about the long-tailed salamander?

Long-tailed salamanders are known to have a long tail that makes more than half of the body length. The length of the tail justifies the name of the species.

Do long-tailed salamander swim?

Long-tailed salamanders can swim. Moreover, females lay eggs in aquatic habitats like streams, ponds, etc. and larvae inhabit these streams, ponds, etc.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Barton Springs salamander facts and arboreal salamander facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable salamander coloring pages.



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