Habitat: found in the southern Appalachian Mountains, mostly south of Virginia
Status: Least Concern
It’s note every day that you come across a salamander with a Fu Manchu mustache… am I right?! Well, today happens to be one of those oh-so-special days because here we have the Blue Ridge Two-lined Salamander (Eurycea wilderae). Males will grow these nostril projections (cirri) during the mating season because apparently females have a thing for evil genius facial hair. But then again, who doesn’t.
Blue Ridge Two-lined Salamanders grow to a length of 6.5-12 cm and can be found under rocks along rocky streams and springs. The interesting thing about this guy (other than its hip facial hair) is that it goes after bugs in much the same way that a chameleon does. It shoots out its long tongue while lunging forward, capturing the unsuspecting victim in the blink of an eye.
This video shows the salamander capturing a termite using a short forward lunge combined with tongue projection. Its tongue is projected fully in less than 2 milliseconds, which in this 5,000 Hz image sequence is fewer than 10 frames.