Eurycea aquatica Rose and Bush, 1963

Class: Amphibia > Order: Caudata > Family: Plethodontidae > Subfamily: Hemidactyliinae > Genus: Eurycea > Species: Eurycea aquatica

Eurycea aquatica Rose and Bush, 1963, Tulane Stud. Zool., 10: 121. Holotype: USNM 147138, by original designation. Type locality: "small springs and permanent streams two miles west of Bessemer, Jefferson County, Alabama, along county highway 20", USA.

Eurycea bislineata aquaticaPetranka, 1998, Salamand. U.S. Canada: 241–242. See comment.

Eurycea (Manculus) aquaticaDubois and Raffaëlli, 2012, Alytes, 28: 143. See comment under Eurycea

Eurycea (Eurycea) aquaticaFouquette and Dubois, 2014, Checklist N.A. Amph. Rept.: 127. 

English Names

Dark-sided Salamander (Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 17).

Brown-backed Salamander (Conant, 1975, Field Guide Rept. Amph. E. Cent. N. Am., Ed. 2: 290; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 27; Powell, Conant, and Collins, 2016, Field Guide Rept. Amph. E. North Am., 4th ed.: 53; Highton, Bonett, and Jockusch, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 27).

Brownback Salamander (Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 12).

Jefferson County Salamander (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 31).


Northern Alabama, to northwestern Georgia and north-central Tennessee; possibly to be found in adjacent northeastern Mississippi.


The status of this taxon was problematic until recently. Petranka, 1998, Salamand. U.S. Canada: 241–242, continued the recognition of this lineage as a subspecies of Eurycea bislineata (sensu lato, as including Eurycea wilderae and Eurycea cirrigera). Sever, 1989, Bull. Chicago Herpetol. Soc., 24: 70–74, discussed the problem and concluded that Eurycea aquatica is a junior synonym of Eurycea cirrigera, but later Sever, 1999, Cat. Am. Amph. Rept., 684: 4, argued for its recognition. Kozak and Lannoo, 2005, in Lannoo (ed.), Amph. Declines: 734–735, provided a detailed account that summarized the literature. Timpe, Graham, and Bonett, 2009, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 52: 368–378, on the basis of molecular evidence, documented the monophyly of this taxon, and suggested that it is the nearest relative of Eurycea junaluska, and composed of at least three genetically distinct populations. Bonett, Steffen, Lambert, Wiens, and Chippindale, 2014 "2013", Evolution, 68: 466–482, confirmed this placement. Raffaëlli, 2013, Urodeles du Monde, 2nd ed.: 246, provided a brief account, photograph, and map. Altig and McDiarmid, 2015, Handb. Larval Amph. US and Canada: 108–109, provided an account of larval morphology and biology. 

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