About This Animal
SIZE: 4.3-8.7 in (11-22 cm)
RANGE: Southern Blue Ridge Mountains and the French Broad River valley from northeast Virginia to southwest North Carolina
HABITAT: Deciduous forests at elevations of 1,400-5,700 feet
DIET: Earthworms, snails, slugs, spiders, insects and smaller salamanders
ON EXHIBIT: Tennessee River Gallery at River Journey
The Yonahlossee is a large, handsome salamander with a broad red or chestnut stripe down its back extending from the neck to the base of the tail. Yonahlossees prefer second growth deciduous forests. They live in fallen logs and rotting stumps or in long burrows designed to enable them to move about underground. In the twilight of evening they will venture out of their daytime refuges to search for insects and other invertebrates. This agile salamander will beat a hasty retreat into its burrow or under forest litter or any nearby rock if it is disturbed.
E.R. Dunn, a noted salamander biologist, first described this salamander in 1917. Mr. Dunn named the species after the old Yonahlossee road on Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina, a location very near his collecting site.