Eurycea lucifuga Rafinesque, 1822

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

Eurycea lucifuga Rafinesque, 1822, Kentucky Gazette, Lexington, N.S.,, 1: 3. Type(s): Not designated or known to exist. Type locality: "near Lexington . . . . in caves and in the dark; but not in water", Fayette County, Kentucky, USA.

Spelerpes lucifugaRafinesque, 1832, Atlantic. J. and Friend of Knowledge, Philadelphia, 1: 22.

Gyrinophilus maculicaudus Cope, 1890, Am. Nat., 24: 967. Syntypes: ANSP 10579–81, according to Fowler and Dunn, 1917, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 69: 20. Hutchison, 1966, Cat. Am. Amph. Rept., 24: 1, stated "Holotype not known to exist". Type locality: "in a spring near . . . . Brookville, [Franklin County,] Indiana." Synonymy by Dunn, 1926, Salamanders Fam. Plethodontidae: 338.

Spelerpes maculicaudusHay, 1891, Am. Nat., 25: 1134.

Spelerpes maculicaudaBlatchley, 1897, Annu. Rep. Dept. Geol. Nat. Res. Indiana for 1896: 125.

Eurycea lucifugaDunn, 1926, Salamanders Fam. Plethodontidae: 338.

Eurycea longicauda lucifugaMittleman, 1942, Proc. New England Zool. Club, 21: 105.

Eurycea lucifugaBishop, 1943, Handb. Salamanders: 431.

Eurycea (Eurycea) lucifugaRaffaëlli, 2007, Les Urodèles du Monde: 182.

English Names

Spotted Tailed Triton (Spelerpes maculicaudus [no longer recognized]: Brimley, 1907, J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc., 23: 151).

Hoosier Salamander (Spelerpes maculicaudus [no longer recognized]: Hay, 1892, Annu. Rep. Dept. Geol. Nat. Res. Indiana for 1891: 447).

Spotted-tail Salamander (Eurycea lucifuga: Bishop, 1943, Handb. Salamanders: 431).

Cave Salamander (Spelerpes maculicauda [no longer recognized]: Blatchley, 1897, Annu. Rep. Dept. Geol. Nat. Res. Indiana for 1896: 125).

Cave Salamander (Eurycea lucifuga: Bishop, 1943, Handb. Salamanders: 431; Schmidt, 1953, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept., Ed. 6: 54; Conant, Cagle, Goin, Lowe, Neill, Netting, Schmidt, Shaw, Stebbins, and Bogert, 1956, Copeia, 1956: 174; Conant, 1975, Field Guide Rept. Amph. E. Cent. N. Am., Ed. 2: 292; Collins, Huheey, Knight, and Smith, 1978, Herpetol. Circ., 7: 6; Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 31; Collins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 7; Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 23; Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 12; 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.: 57; Highton, Bonett, and Jockusch, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 27).


Essentially limited to limestone areas, especially in and around limestone caves, in the Ozark uplife of northeastern Oklahoma, southeastern Kansas, northern Arkansas and central and southern Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Indiana and southwestern Ohio through Kentucky and Tennessee to northeastern Mississippi, northern Alabama, and northwestern Georgia; extends along higher elevations of the Appalachians from eastern Tennessee almost to Maryland along the West Virginia–Virginia border, USA.


See accounts by Hutchison, 1966, Cat. Am. Amph. Rept., 24: 1–2, and Petranka, 1998, Salamand. U.S. Canada: 258–261. Merkle and Guttman, 1977, Herpetologica, 33: 313–321, reported on geographic variation. Juterbock, 2005, in Lannoo (ed.), Amph. Declines: 750–753, provided a detailed account that summarized the biology and conservation literature. Bonett, Steffen, Lambert, Wiens, and Chippindale, 2014 "2013", Evolution, 68: 443, recovered this species as the sister taxon of a group composed of Eurycea longicauda and Eurycea guttolineataRaffaëlli, 2013, Urodeles du Monde, 2nd ed.: 250, provided a brief account, photograph, and map. Altig and McDiarmid, 2015, Handb. Larval Amph. US and Canada: 112–113, provided an account of larval morphology and biology. 

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