Over the past several days, my comrades and I have been removing Euonymus fortunei-common name is wintercreeper-which is an invasive plant species. It may look harmless, but it will easily choke out native plants and limit the biodiversity of an area very quickly. The garden staff and I devised a way of removing the plant by starting at the top of a slope and rolling it over itself similar to rolling carpet. As we were rolling the wintercreeper, many creatures would come out to greet us: worms, various insects, spiders, and a lovely little salamander.

Mr. Salamander was upset because the worms were eating all his food. I told Mr. Salamander that we would relocate the worms to another place if he would have a wrestling match with one of the worms. He agreed.

Eurycea lucifuga, which is the scientific name for Mr. Salamander, is a rare find in the wild. The common name for this species is the cave salamander. Its habitat is usually in caves where light can be found and near springs. In Arkansas, the animal is limited to the Ozarks in the northern part of the state; however, the cave salamander can be found in many central and eastern states. Even though this salamander is rare, it is not on the federal endangered species list.

Eurycea lucifuga


  1. BTDawg said...
    I just found this little guy in the Crystal Dome, Mystic Caverns, south of Harrison, Arkansas, on Highway 7. I looked him up on www.herpsofarkansas.com, and I didn't find him, so I will send my photo to kaptainkory, the herpitologist that manages the website. This salamander is much prettier in person, and a great find. The cave tour leader said that he appeared, often with others, in the morning, near the door to the cave. The caves are also worth the trip!
    BTDawg said...
    I have to correct my previous comment. Of course the cave salamander is at www.herpsofarkansas.com but the little guy is in "salamanders" not lizards. Duh! There are quite a few more pictures of him at that site, some quite close, as well as some additional descriptive information. I am truly sorry for the misinformation, and I'm sure you will enjoy the website.

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