The NSS Bulletin - ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 42 Number 3: 49-52 - July 1980

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Fluctuations in a Population of the Cave Salamander Eurycea lucifuga
Albert A. Williams


A field study of a small population of the common cave salamander Eurycea lucifuga, in Union Point Cave, Union Co., Illinois, indicated seasonal variation both in density and in the spatial distribution of the visible population in the cave. The changes in population density are possibly associated with seasonal migrations into the cave for courtship and breeding purposes, while the spatial distribution is shown to be a function of seasonal changes in availability of suitable wet substrate within the cave. The intrusion of the investigator into the stable cave habitat is seen to have a marked effect on the salamander population, complicating interpretation of this and other hyprogean ecological studies. Behavior of the salamanders in response to sudden distrubances is described.

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