The range of the Austin Blind Salamander is exceedingly restricted. It has only been found in the 3 out of 4 outlets of Barton Springs in Austin, Texas. These 3 outlets are Parthenia, Eliza and sunken Garden Springs.
They are strictly aquatic. This species of salamander enjoys spending most of its time underground in the subterranean cavities in the Edwards Aquifer. Their diet includes ostrapods, copepods, amphipods and aquatic plants. They can also be seen coming out of water for a few minutes if humidity is close to 100%. There is little information known about their reproduction. Lastly, their status is endangered.
The Eurycea waterlooensis is a perennibranchiate form which sustains permanent larval morphology. They grow to a total length of 60 – 70 mm. This species lacks external eyes but rather has little subdermal eyespots. It also has 12 coastal grooves. Additionally, it has smaller limbs, in comparison to its closest relations. This salamander has weakly developed tail fins. The ventral section of the tail fin is there just on the posterior half. But the dorsal section is almost gone on the anterior half. This salamander also has a flattened and elongated snout. It also has a glistening and shiny white look due to the reflective connective tissue that lies underneath its transparent skin. Shades of lavender are sometimes exhibited. Lastly, a row of iridophores can occasionally be discovered along the sides of the body and tail.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians