Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
Adult males are about 67-92 mm in length; females are 61-97 mm. Small, slender body with broad, greenish yellow or orangish dorsum bordered on either side with a dark brown or black stripe, which starts at the snout, widening at the back of the eyes and extends onto the laterally compressed tail. Sides mottled from darkest to lightest when moving towards the yellow venter. Dorsum also has many scattered black spots or blotches. There are about 13-16 costal grooves (Bishop 1943; Petranka 1998).
The sides of the female head are almost parallel back of the eyes, converging to a bluntly rounded snout. The male head widens back of the eyes with a snout somewhat swollen in the area of the nasolabial grooves and sometimes small blunt cirri below the nostrils. The long diameter of the eyes is about equal to the length of the snout. Small, oval tongue with a central pedicel. Irregular line of vomerine teeth and parasphenoid teeth in elongate separate patches (Bishop 1943; Petranka 1998).
Breeding males have unicuspid and elongated teeth relative to bicuspid teeth of females. Male has premaxillary teeth that often pierces male's lip. Unicuspid teeth replaced with typical bicuspid teeth when breeding season ends (Petranka 1998).
Hatchlings and older larvae are dusky colored with six to nine pairs of light dorsolateral spots on body. Streamlined body with tail fin stopping near insertion of rear limbs. Usually light-colored venter with many iridophores. Large larvae from extreme northern parts of the range sometimes have dark colored throats and bellies (Petranka 1998).