Amphiuma pholeter - Neill, 1964
One-toed Amphiuma
Other English Common Names: one-toed amphiuma
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Amphiuma pholeter Neill, 1964 (TSN 173611)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.103402
Element Code: AAAAB01020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Amphibians - Salamanders
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Caudata Amphiumidae Amphiuma
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B85FRO01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Amphiuma pholeter
Taxonomic Comments: Electrophoretic studies of 24 presumptive genetic loci indicated a high level of genetic similarity between A. means and A. tridactylum and a much greater dissimilarity between A. pholeter and A. tridactylum (Karlin and Means 1994).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 12Feb2014
Global Status Last Changed: 17Dec2001
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Occurs on the lower Gulf Coastal Plain of Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and southeastern Mississippi; few or no adequately protected occurrences; habitat subject to several potential threats.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3 (05Nov1996)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S1), Florida (S3), Georgia (S1), Mississippi (S1)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: NT - Near threatened

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: This species has a narrow distribution of only about 80-120 kilometers (50-75 miles) inland from the seashore in the eastern Gulf Coast Plain of the southeastern United States, from Harrison County, Mississippi (Brown and Lamb 2016), to Levy and Hernando counties, Florida (Means 1996, 2005).

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: This amphiuma is represented by two localities in the Ochlockonee River drainage of Georgia (Means 1996), two localities in Alabama, at least one locality in Mississippi, and about 40 localities in Florida (see Means 2005). Probably there are quite a few more as yet undiscovered localities (species is very cryptic in its habits).

Population Size: 2500 - 100,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown, but there are undoubtedly many thousands of individuals. The species is secretive and habitat is difficult to sample. Usually, at most localities, only one or two individuals are found during several person-hours of vigorous searching (Means 2005).

Overall Threat Impact: Unknown
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Exploitation of surrounding habitat (logging, mining, power plant sludge, runoff, etc.) could affect species' security. Stream pollution and ground water disturbance also potential threats. Very habitat-dependent; maintenance of nonpolluted muck is essential.

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Better information is needed on current trend.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <50% to Relatively Stable
Long-term Trend Comments: No evidence of decline in abundance was noted over three decades at a few locations in Florida where this species has been found on a regular basis (Means 2005).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Probably moderately vulnerable; reproductive biology and life history are not well known.

Environmental Specificity: Narrow to moderate.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Verify extant occurrences. Field-check type locality (Levy County). Survey for species in managed areas within range. Inventory potential sites identified from topographic maps.

Protection Needs: Entire drainage basins (including uplands) need to be preserved. Protect occurrences in at least 10 different drainages, preferably including at least one occurrence each in Georgia and Alabama. Establish state limits on collecting if exploitation is extensive.

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) This species has a narrow distribution of only about 80-120 kilometers (50-75 miles) inland from the seashore in the eastern Gulf Coast Plain of the southeastern United States, from Harrison County, Mississippi (Brown and Lamb 2016), to Levy and Hernando counties, Florida (Means 1996, 2005).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, FL, GA, MS

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: IUCN, Conservation International, NatureServe, and collaborators, 2004


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Baldwin (01003)*, Mobile (01097)*
FL Bay (12005), Calhoun (12013), Gadsden (12039), Hernando (12053), Jackson (12063), Jefferson (12065), Leon (12073), Levy (12075), Liberty (12077), Okaloosa (12091)*, Santa Rosa (12113), Taylor (12123), Wakulla (12129), Walton (12131)*, Washington (12133)
GA Grady (13131), Thomas (13275)
MS Harrison (28047), Jackson (28059)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Crystal-Pithlachascotee (03100207)+, Waccasassa (03110101)+, Econfina-Steinhatchee (03110102)+, Aucilla (03110103)+, Apalachee Bay-St. Marks (03120001)+, Upper Ochlockonee (03120002)+, Lower Ochlockonee (03120003)+, Apalachicola (03130011)+, Chipola (03130012)+, Yellow (03140103)+*, Pensacola Bay (03140105)+, Lower Choctawhatchee (03140203)+, Mobile - Tensaw (03160204)+*, Mobile Bay (03160205)+*, Mississippi Coastal (03170009)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: One-toed amphiuma, Amphiumidae.
General Description: This eel-like amphibian has tiny limbs each of which has only one toe. It has very small eyes and a single gill opening on each side of the neck. The dorsal side is not noticeably darker than the ventral side.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Two-toed and three-toed amphiumas are larger and normally have a larger number of toes as suggested by their common names, and they are distinctly darker on the dorsal side than on the ventral side.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND, Riparian, SCRUB-SHRUB WETLAND, TEMPORARY POOL
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: Deep, organic, liquid muck in alluvial swamps of low-gradient 2nd or 3rd order streams, spring runs, and occasionally floodplain swampy terrace streams.
Length: 33 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: This species has a small range and it is not known to be abundant; maintenance of mucky, nonpolluted wetland habitats is the primary management need.
Biological Research Needs: Better understanding of species' biology, especially life history.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including larvae or eggs) in or near appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Any upland habitat. Although perhaps not genetically isolated, populations occupying separate tributary stream systems of a larger river, or sites on opposite sides of a river, may be considered as distinct occurrences. Presumably, large impoundments with abrupt aquatic-upland margins also are effective barriers.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Based on their specialized microhabitat preference (Means 1992), it is likely that these salamanders rarely cross rivers or move overland between streams. There are no available data on dispersal or other movements, but these salamanders probably are of restricted vagility; the separation distance for unsuitable habitat reflects the nominal minimum of 1 km. The separation distance for suitable habitat reflects a balance between the species' apparent sedentary habits over the short term and the seemingly low probability that locations separated by a gap of less than several kilometers of suitable habitat would represent truly independent populations over the long term.
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .2 km
Date: 21Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G., and D. R. Jackson. Separation distance by G. Hammerson.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 20Apr2007
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Jackson, D. R., and G. Hammerson
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 17Dec2004
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Auburn University Museum of Natural History Reptile and Amphibian Collection, Auburn, Alabama. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/science_math/cosam/collections/reptiles_amphibians/index.htm

  • Bartlett, R. D., and P. P. Bartlett. 1999b. A field guide to Florida reptiles and amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. xvi + 278 pp.

  • Behler, J. L., and F. W. King. 1979. The Audubon Society field guide to North American reptiles and amphibians. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 719 pp.

  • Blackburn, L., P. Nanjappa, and M. J. Lannoo. 2001. An Atlas of the Distribution of U.S. Amphibians. Copyright, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA.

  • Brown, G., and J. Y. Lamb.  2016.  Amphiuma pholeter (one-toed amphiuma).  Geographic distribution: Mississippi, Harrison County.  Herpetological Review 47:244.

  • Bury, R. B., C. K. Dodd, Jr., and G. M. Fellers. 1980. Conservation of the Amphibia of the United States: a review. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C., Resource Publication 134. 34 pp.

  • CONANT, R., AND J.T. COLLINS. 1991. A FIELD GUIDE TO REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS, EASTERN AND CENTRAL NORTH AMERICA, THIRD ED. HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS. 450 PP.

  • Carey, S.D. 1985. Amphiuma pholeter: locality information. Herpetological Review 16(1): 31.

  • Center for Biological Diversity. 2010. Petition to list 404 aquatic, riparian and wetland species from the southeastern United States as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Petition submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  • Conant, R. 1975. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Second Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. xvii + 429 pp.

  • Crother, B. I. (editor). 2008. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Sixth edition. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Herpetological Circular 37:1-84.

  • Floyd, P. S., Sr., P. S. Floyd, Jr., and J. D. Floyd. 1998. Geographic distribution: Amphiuma pholeter (one-toed amphiuma). Herpetological Review 29:244.

  • Floyd, Peter S., Peter S. Floyd, Jr., and J. David Floyd. 1998. Old Fort Bayou Mitigation Bank Land: Herpetofauna and crustacean diversity survey. Museum Technical Report No. 71, Dept. Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, Museum of Natural Science, Jackson. Final Report to The Nature Conservancy, Ocean Springs, MS. Under subcontract with the Mississippi Natural Heritage Program. 47 pp.

  • Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.

  • Karlin, A. A., and D. B. Means. 1994. Genetic variation in the aquatic salamander genus Amphiuma. Am. Midl. Nat. 132:1-9.

  • Krysko, K. L., K. M. Enge, and P. E. Moler. 2011. Atlas of amphibians and reptiles in Florida. Final report to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Tallahassee, Florida. Submitted 15 December 2011.

  • MEANS, D. B. 1971. FIELD NOTES. TWO COLLECTIONS OF AMPHIUMA PHOLETER IN SW GEORGIA (INCL. FIRST STATE RECORD). NOTES ON HABITAT AND ASSOCIATED AMPHIBIANS

  • MEANS, D. B. 1972. FIELD NOTES. ONE SERIES OF AMPHIUMA PHOLETER TAKEN IN SW GEORGIA. NOTES ON HABITAT AND ASSOCIATED AMPHIBIANS

  • MEANS, D. B. 1978. HAIDEOTRITON WALLACEI, GEORGIA BLIND SALAMANDER. PP. 9-11 IN R. W. MCDIARMID (ED.) RARE AND ENDANGERED BIOTA OF FLORIDA. III. AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES. UNIV. PRESSES OF FLORIDA, GAINESVILLE. 74 PP.

  • Means, D. B. 1992. One-toed amphiuma Amphiuma pholeter Neill. Pages 34-38 in P. E. Moler, editor. Rare and endangered biota of Florida. Volume III. Amphibians and reptiles. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. 291 pp.

  • Means, D. B. 1996. Amphiuma means. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles 622.1-622.2.

  • Means, D. B. 2005. Amphiuma pholeter Neill, 1964(b). One-toed amphiuma. Pages 645-646 in M. Lannoo, editor. Amphibian declines: the conservation status of United States species. University of California Press, Berkeley.

  • Mirarchi, R. E., M. A. Bailey, T. M. Haggerty, and T. L. Best, editors. 2004. Alabama wildlife. Volume 3. Imperiled amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 225 pages.

  • Mirarchi, R.E., editor. 2004. Alabama Wildlife. Volume 1. A checklist of vertebrates and selected invertebrates: aquatic mollusks, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 209 pages.

  • Moler, P. E., editor. 1992. Rare and Endangered Biota of Florida. Volume III. Amphibians and Reptiles. University Presses of Florida, Gainesville. xviii + 291 pp.

  • Moler, P. E., editor. 1992. Rare and endangered biota of Florida. Volume III. Amphibians and reptiles. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. xviii + 291 pp.

  • Mount, R. H., editor. 1986. Vertebrate animals of Alabama in need of special attention. Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn University, Alabama. 124 pages.

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  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2011m. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; partial 90-day finding on a petition to list 404 species in the southeastern United States as endangered or threatened. Federal Register 76(187):59836-59862.

  • VITT, L.J. 1981. PART II. REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS. PP. 594-805, IN: J. LAERM (ED.), A SURVEY OF THE STATUS DISTRIBUTION AND ABUNDANCE OF POTENTIALLY THREATENED AND ENDANGERED VERTEBRATE SPECIES IN GEORGIA. GAME & FISH DIV./DNR, FINAL

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