endemic to a single state or province
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
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).
Length: 11 cm
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).
Habitat and Ecology
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).
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.
Comments: Eats small terrestrial invertebrates.
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.
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.
Life History and Behavior
Comments: Active on the ground surface in spring and fall, especially on rainy nights (Spotila 1972).
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).
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Plethodon caddoensis
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- Needs updating
- 1996Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N2 - Imperiled
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.
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).
Management Requirements: "Hardwood buffers left around the margins of talus would help maintain viable populations...by providing leaf litter and shading" (Petranka 1998).
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.
Caddo Mountain salamander
The Caddo Mountain Salamander (Plethodon caddoensis) is a species of salamander in the Plethodontidae family. It is one of 55 species in the genus Plethodon and is endemic to the eastern United States.
- Hammerson, G. 2004. Plethodon caddoensis. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 23 July 2007.
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Names and 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.)