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Eurycea guttolineata x Eurycea longicauda Hybrid
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Author:  mtratcliffe [ November 12th, 2017, 7:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Eurycea guttolineata x Eurycea longicauda Hybrid

Last week, I finally managed to turn up the very rare hybrid of the Three-lined Salamander (Eurycea guttolineata) and Long-tailed Salamander (Eurycea longicauda). These two species are more closely related to one another than they are other members of genus Eurycea, which allows them to hybridize. However, their ranges are completely separated from each other with the exception of a few counties in Northern Virginia. Fairfax County, where I currently live, is one of those counties, and it contains the only known (that I'm aware of) hybridization spot for these two species.

It only took me four expeditions to this location before I turned one up, but it was worth it! It's funny that I found a hybrid of these species before I found a pure individual of either one. I'm confident I'll turn those two up sooner or later. In the meantime, enjoy what I consider the single most beautiful individual salamander I've ever seen in the wild! This one favors the Three-lined Salamander, but you can see traits of the Long-tailed in it with regards to the tail length, the weak third stripe (spotted instead of a bold mark), and the lateral herringbone pattern that runs the length of the body and the tail

ImageDSCN1830 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1834 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1837 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Imageiphone Three-lined Salamander by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Author:  kevin h [ November 17th, 2017, 1:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Eurycea guttolineata x Eurycea longicauda Hybrid

Freaky deaky Matt!! Thanks for sharing. I knew there was a population like this in N. Georgia but had no clue about this one. The patterning on these guys almost resemble the ones in W. Kentucky too. Makes one wonder...

ImageThree-lined Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

Author:  mtratcliffe [ November 18th, 2017, 4:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Eurycea guttolineata x Eurycea longicauda Hybrid

Kevin,

I did not know there were other hybrid populations as well! It makes sense though as their ranges parallel each other closely. That's an interesting one you've got there - it favors a Three-lined pretty heavily but the lateral and dorsal stripes are definitely not as bold. Is that one from GA?

- Matt

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