Visit our new website

Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network - Réseau Canadien de 
Conservation des Amphibiens et des Reptiles

Eurycea bislineata
Northern Two-lined Salamander /
Salamandre à deux lignes du Nord


Northern Two-lined Salamander
© Henk Wallays

Description
The Northern Two-lined Salamander has a yellowish band down its back, bordered by two black lines. Adults can grow to a length of 12 cm, with the tail making up approximately half of this.

Confusing Species
The Dusky Salamander is somewhat similar to the Two-lined Salamander. In Quebec they are often found in the same habitats. The Dusky Salamander can be quickly identified by the light-coloured band that runs diagonally from the eye to the jaw. The rare Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander of southern Québec is also quite similar to the Two-lined Salamander. It tends to have V-shaped marks on the band running down its back.

Distribution
Absent from south-western Ontario, the Two-lined Salamander is found throughout much of eastern Ontario, and much of Quebec, Labrador and New Brunswick. They are found as far south as Virginia. Closely related salamanders farther south are now considered to be separate species.

Habitat
Two-lined Salamanders are generally found close to streams because they dehydrate more readily than other lungless salamanders. They are associated with moderate to fast flowing rocky streams. These streams can be tiny creeks or actual rivers in both deciduous or mixed forests.

Reproduction
Breeding can occur in the fall or spring, but egg-laying occurs in the spring. Females lay up to 100 eggs, generally on the underside of submerged rocks. The female often stays with the eggs until they hatch in one to two months. The larvae are approximately 1 cm in length when they hatch and take up to three years to transform into a salamander. At that time they will be roughly 4 cm in length. By the next spring, they will generally be mature.

Natural History
Two-lined Salamanders are primarily active at night, especially after it rains. During the day, they can be found under rocks near streams. They eat a wide variety of insects and other invertebrates. Two-lined Salamanders spend the winter in rocky or gravelly areas below the frost line.

Conservation Concerns
There is no evidence that Two-lined Salamander populations have declined.