Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species can be found in the Caddo Mountains, Ouachita Mountains region, south-western Arkansas, USA (Conant and Collins 1991; Petranka 1998), from 275-655m asl.
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endemic to a single state or province

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (<100-250 square km (less than about 40-100 square miles)) Caddo Mountains, Ouachita Mountains region, southwestern Arkansas (Conant and Collins 1991, Petranka 1998), 900-2150 ft (274-655 m).

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Physical Description

Size

Length: 11 cm

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Diagnostic Description

Differs from PLETHODON OUACHITAE in lacking chestnut pigment (though some may have small amounts of red on the dorsum). Differs from PLETHODON GLUTINOSUS complex in having less prominent whitish spots and a dark throat (Robison and Allen 1995).

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It is recorded as being "locally abundant in or near talus slopes or other rocky sites, particularly on north-facing slopes that support mature, mesic forests" (Petranka 1998). It moves into underground retreats under shaded talus or in abandoned mine shafts during hot, dry weather (Petranka 1998), during which large numbers have been found in abandoned mines on rock walls near water in summer (Saugey, Height and Heath 1985). It has also been found in secondary growth, mixed deciduous woods with some pine (Pope 1964). Eggs clusters have been found in mine shafts (Heath, Saugey and Heidt 1986).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Comments: "Locally abundant in or near talus slopes or other rocky sites, particularly on north-facing slopes that support mature, mesic forests" (Petranka 1998). Moves into underground retreats under shaded talus or in abandoned mine shafts during hot, dry weather (Petranka 1998). Large numbers have been found in abandoned mines on rock walls near water in summer (Saugey et al. 1985). Has been found in second-growth, mixed deciduous woods with some pine (Pope 1964). Eggs clusters have been found in mine shafts (Heath et al. 1986).

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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Eats small terrestrial invertebrates.

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 1 - 20

Comments: As of 2004, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission recorded about 20 occurrences; several of these were regarded as having good to excellent viability at the time of last visitation, but the current status of most occurrences was uncertain.

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Global Abundance

Unknown

Comments: Locally abundant (Petranka 1998). Common in abandoned mines between June and September (Saugey et al. 1985). In one survey, the largest aggregation was estimated at 100 individuals.

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Comments: Active on the ground surface in spring and fall, especially on rainy nights (Spotila 1972).

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Reproduction

Terrestrial breeder. Eggs are laid mainly in June. Young hatch in late summer and fall (Petranka 1998). Females probably reproduce biennially (Taylor et al. 1990).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Plethodon caddoensis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
NT
Near Threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2004

Assessor/s
Geoffrey Hammerson

Reviewer/s
Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Near Threatened, because although the species is abundant within its small range, and might not be declining, its extent of occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, thus making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable.

History
  • 1996
    Lower Risk/near threatened
    (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N2 - Imperiled

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G2 - Imperiled

Reasons: Occurs in the Caddo Mountains, Arkansas; locally common in small range; habitat degradation and loss are potential threats, but most known localities occur within the Ouachita National Forest, which affords this species some level of protection.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow to narrow.

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Population

Population
It is locally common (Saugey, Height and Heath 1985; Petranka 1998). As of 2004, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission had recorded about 20 occurrences. Several of these were regarded as having good to excellent viability at the time of last visitation, but most of the occurrences did not have recent information.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Habitat loss and degradation represents a localized threat, and timber management activities and conversion of land to pine plantations probably also reduced suitable habitat for this species in the past (Warriner 2002).
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Degree of Threat: Unknown

Comments: Threatened by habitat destruction and fragmentation resulting from silviculture and mining (S. Trauth, pers. comm., 1995). Timber management activities and conversion of land to pine plantations most likely reduced suitable habitat for this species (Warriner 2002). Habitat degradation and loss continue to be potential threats, but most known localities occur within the Ouachita National Forest, which affords this species some level of protection (Warriner 2002).

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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Most populations are in the Ouachita National Forest, which affords this species some level of protection (Warriner 2002), and it is also state-listed as being a species of special concern.
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Management Requirements: "Hardwood buffers left around the margins of talus would help maintain viable populations...by providing leaf litter and shading" (Petranka 1998).

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Global Protection: Few (1-3) occurrences appropriately protected and managed

Comments: Localities within the Ouachita National Forest afford some level of protection (Warriner 2002).

Needs: Protect localities from vandalism, predators, and urbanization.

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Wikipedia

Caddo Mountain salamander

The Caddo Mountain Salamander (Plethodon caddoensis) is a species of salamander in the Plethodontidae family. It is endemic to the eastern United States.

Its natural habitats are temperate forests, rocky areas, and caves. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Source


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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: This is a member of the PLETHODON OUACHITAE complex (Petranka 1998). Duncan and Highton (1979) examined electrophoretic variation in this complex and found that P. CADDOENSIS is moderately distinctive from the other forms (Petranka 1998).

Mahoney (2001) used mtDNA data to examine phylogenetic relationships of western and eastern PLETHODON and ANEIDES. She found strong support for eastern PLETHODON as a clade, but monophyly of ANEIDES was only weakly supported in some analyses, though "the monophyly of this clade is not in doubt." Analyses indicated that PLETHODON STORMI and P. ELONGATUS are clearly sister taxa, and P. DUNNI and P. VEHICULUM also are well-supported sister taxa. PLETHODON LARSELLI and P. VANDYKEI appear to be closely related, whereas P. NEOMEXICANUS did not group with any other lineage. All analyses yielded a paraphyletic PLETHODON but constraint analyses did not allow rejection of a monophyletic PLETHODON. Mahoney recommended continued recognition of ANEIDES as a valid genus and adoption of the metataxon designation for PLETHODON*, indicating this status with an asterisk. (A metataxon is a group of lineages for which neither monophyly nor paraphyly can be demonstrated.)

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