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Bright orange to red, it has irregular black spots on the dorsum. The underside is white to yellowish with no markings. The body is elongated and slender with the prehensile tail making up more than 60 percent of the body length. The head is large and flattened and the eyes bulge out of the head. These salamanders range in size from 10 to 20 cm. Cave salamanders may produce a noxious secretion from the tail if bothered, and when attacked they will coil their body around and tuck their head underneath the base of the tail, then wriggle the tail to distract the predator. Using this common defensive strategy for many species, the cave salamander can regenerate the tail if part of it is broken off.
One of our more colorful salamanders, the cave salamander is found in karst habitat throughout the eastern two-thirds of Tennessee.
Spotted on Aug 19, 2011
Submitted on Aug 27, 2011
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