Eurycea robusta - (Longley, 1978)
Blanco Blind Salamander
Synonym(s): Typhlomolge robusta
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Eurycea robusta (Longley, 1978) (TSN 586344)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104377
Element Code: AAAAD05260
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Amphibians - Salamanders
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae Eurycea
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Chippindale, P. T., D. M. Hillis, and A. H. Price. 1994. Relationships, status, and distribution of central Texas hemidactyliine plethodontid salamanders (Eurycea and Typhlomolge). Final Section 6 Report, July 1994. 21 pp. + 1 fig.
Concept Reference Code: N94CHI01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Eurycea robusta
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly included in the genus Typhlomolge (see Mitchell and Reddell 1965; Chippindale et al. 1994, 2000). Questionably distinct from E. rathbuni.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1Q
Global Status Last Reviewed: 25Mar2002
Global Status Last Changed: 01Nov1999
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Known only from a single specimen from Texas; subterranean aquatic habitat is vulnerable to degradation; questionably distinct from EURYCEA RATHBUNI.
Nation: United States
National Status: N1 (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 Texas (S1)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: DD - Data deficient

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: <100-250 square km (less than about 40-100 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Apparently parapatric with E. RATHBUNI in the San Marcos Pool of the Balcones Aquifer, south-central Texas. Type locality: beneath the Blanco River, 178 m elevation, 5 airline km NE of Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, Hays County, Texas. Known from four specimens observed in 1951 (only one was collected and preserved).

Area of Occupancy: Unknown 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 1 - 5
Number of Occurrences Comments: Known only from one site.

Population Size: Unknown

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Unknown

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Presumably sensitive to changes in water quality and thus vulnerable to groundwater pollutants, and likely potentially threatened by falling groundwater levels that have resulted from increased pumping to support residential and commercial development in the region, but current severity of these threats is unknown.

Short-term Trend: Unknown

Long-term Trend: Unknown

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Highly to moderately vulnerable.

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (<100-250 square km (less than about 40-100 square miles)) Apparently parapatric with E. RATHBUNI in the San Marcos Pool of the Balcones Aquifer, south-central Texas. Type locality: beneath the Blanco River, 178 m elevation, 5 airline km NE of Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, Hays County, Texas. Known from four specimens observed in 1951 (only one was collected and preserved).

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 state or province

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States TX

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)
TX Hays (48209)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
12 San Marcos (12100203)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A robust, whitish, gilled salamander with vestigial eyes.
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Subterranean Habitat(s): Subaquatic
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Subterranean obligate
Habitat Comments: Water-filled subterranean caverns.
Length: 10 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Aquatic/Wetland Plethodontid Salamanders

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: Busy highway, especially with high traffic volume at night; other totally inappropriate habitat that the salamanders cannot traverse.
Alternate Separation Procedure: Separation distance for stream-dwelling species along riverine corridors: 10 stream km. Separation distance for other freshwater aquatic and wetland habitats: 3 km. Separation distance for upland habitat: 1 km.
Separation Justification: These salamanders rarely successfully cross roadways that have heavy traffic volume at night, when most movements occur. Salamanders in this Specs Group, except strictly subterranean species, tend to be able to traverse upland habitat when conditions are wet, and generally they can pass through atypical wetland and aquatic habitats to reach another patch of suitable habitat. However, Grover and Wilbur (2002) created replicated seeps at distances of 3, 15, and more than 30 m from streams or natural seeps and found that Desmognathus fuscus and Gyrinophilus porphyriticus colonized the new seeps at 3 m and 15 m but were rare or absent at new seeps more than 30 m from the nearest stream or natural seep.

Although these specifications do not include rivers as barriers, Adams and Beachy (2001) documented morphological variation among populations of Gyrinophilus porphyriticus in the southern Appalachian Mountains and found patterns "consistent with the hypothesis that large rivers restrict sizable gene flow." Large rivers probably function at least as unsuitable habitat for many species in this Specs Group.

Compared to larger ambystomatid salamanders, the movements of plethodontids are poorly documented, but home ranges likely tend to be very small, on the order of a few meters to a few dozen meters in length or diameter. Yet, on occasion, dispersing individuals likely travel at least several hundred meters, and stream-dwelling species likely disperse much farther along riverine corridors. Over a number of years, it is likely that these salamanders can spread multiple kilometers through suitable habitat.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .1 km
Date: 28Oct2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
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: 25Mar2002
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 21Feb1995
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
  • Allen, C. R., S. Demarais, and R. S. Lutz. 1994. Red imported fire ant impact on wildlife: an overview. The Texas Journal of Science 46(1):51-59.

  • BARRETT, EVELYN P. AND CAROLINE P. BENJAMIN. 1977. AN ANALYSIS OF THE PIGMENTATION OF THE EPIGEAL EURYCEA OF THE TEXAS EDWARDS PLATEAU. COPEIA 1977(1):59-65.

  • 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.

  • Chippindale, P. T., A. H. Price, J. J. Wiens, and D. M. Hillis. 2000. Phylogenetic relationships and systematic revision of central Texas hemidactyliine plethodontid salamanders. Herpetological Monographs 14:1-80.

  • Chippindale, P. T., A. H. Price, and D. M. Hillis. 1993. A new species of perennibranchiate salamander (Eurycea: Plethodontidae) from Austin, Texas. Herpetologica 49:248-59.

  • Chippindale, P. T., D. M. Hillis, and A. H. Price. 1994. Final Section 6 report. Project 3.4.  Grant No. E-1. Relationships, status, and distribution of central Texas hemidactyliine plethodontid salamanders (Eurycea and Typhlomolge).85 pp. 30 Nov 1999..

  • Chippindale, P. T., D. M. Hillis, and A. H. Price. 1994. Relationships, status, and distribution of central Texas hemidactyliine plethodontid salamanders (Eurycea and Typhlomolge). Final Section 6 Report, July 1994. 21 pp. + 1 fig.

  • Chippindale, P.T. 2000. Species boundaries and species diversity in the central Texas hemidactyliine plethodontid salamanders, genus Eurycea. The Biology of Plethodontid Salamanders. Bruce, R., Houck, L. and Jaeger, R.,editor. 149-160. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishing. New York.

  • Crother, B. I. (editor). 2012. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. 7th edition. SSAR Herpetological Circular 39:1-92.

  • DIXON, JAMES R. 1987. AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES OF TEXAS, WITH KEYS, TAXONOMIC SYNOPSES, BIBLIOGRAPHY, AND DISTRIBUTION MAPS. TEXAS A& M UNIV. PRESS, COLLEGE STATION. xii + 434 pp.

  • GARRETT, JUDITH M. AND DAVID G. BARKER. 1987. A FIELD GUIDE TO REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS OF TEXAS. TEXAS MONTHLY PRESS, AUSTIN. xi + 225 pp.

  • Hillis, D. M., D. A. Chamberlain, T. P. Wilcox, and P. T. Chippindale. 2001. A new species of subterranean blind salamander (Plethodontidae: Hemidactyliini: Eurycea: Typhlomolge) from Austin, Texas, and a systematic revision of central Texas paedomorphic salamanders. Herpetologica 57:266-280.

  • Longley, G. 1978. Status of Typhlomolge (=Eurycea) rathbuni, the Texas blind salamander. Endangered Species Report 2, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque. 45 pp.

  • Potter, F. E., Jr., and S. S. Sweet. 1981. Generic boundaries in Texas cave salamanders, and a redesciption of Typhlomolge robusta (Amphibia: Plethodontidae). Copeia 1981:64-75.

  • Potter, Jr, F.E. 1963. Gross morphological variation in the genus Typhlomolge with a description of a new species. Masters Thesis, University of Texas. Austin, Texas.

  • Sweet, S. S. 1984. Secondary contact and hybridization in the Texas cave salamanders EURYCEA NEOTENES and E. TRIDENTIFERA. Copeia 1984:428-441.

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