Hydromantes platycephalus - (Camp, 1916)
Mount Lyell Salamander
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Hydromantes platycephalus (Camp, 1916) (TSN 173720)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.103531
Element Code: AAAAD09020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Amphibians - Salamanders
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae Hydromantes
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
Help
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: Hydromantes platycephalus
Taxonomic Comments: This species includes populations that have been referred to as the Owens Valley web-toed salamander (Rovito 2010).

Lanza and Vanni (1981) proposed a new generic name (Hydromantoides). In 1997, the ICZN ruled that Hydromantoides Lanza and Vanni, 1981, is a junior subjective synonym of Hydromantes Gistel, 1848, and placed Hydromantoides on the Official Index of Rejected and Invalid Generic Names in Zoology. The type species of Hydromantes was designated as Spelerpes platycephalus Camp, 1916.
Conservation Status
Help

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 04May2011
Global Status Last Changed: 04May2011
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Small range in Sierra Nevada, California, but has lost no habitat and there are no known threats; apparently secure.
Nation: United States
National Status: N4 (04May2011)

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 California (S4)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 5000-20,000 square km (about 2000-8000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range includes the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada, California , mostly above 8,000 feet (4,000-12,000 feet, 1,200-3,700 meters, overall), from Sonora Pass, Alpine County, to Franklin Pass area and Bullfrog Lakes in Sequoia National Forest, Tulare County (Gonzales 2001; low elevation records are from the Yosemite Valley (1,200-1,300 meters) and the arid eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada in the Owens Valley (1,400-2,000 meters) (Rovito 2010). An isolated population occurs at Smith Lake, Desolation Wilderness, El Dorado County. Distribution may be more continuous than present records indicate.

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are many localities known for this species and probably many others not documented because of remoteness.

Population Size: 10,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but likely exceeds 10,000.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Many (41-125)

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: No present threats, due especially to remoteness of habitat. Tolerant of nondestructive intrusion; habitat not easily made unsuitable.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Probably relatively stable overall.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%
Long-term Trend Comments: Likely relatively stable in extent of occurrence, probably less than 25% decline in population size, area of occurrence, and number/condition of occurrences.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Determine how continuous the populations are; look for new populations or species in north.

Protection Needs: Leave habitat intact. Protect Smith Lake population?

Distribution
Help
Global Range: (5000-20,000 square km (about 2000-8000 square miles)) Range includes the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada, California , mostly above 8,000 feet (4,000-12,000 feet, 1,200-3,700 meters, overall), from Sonora Pass, Alpine County, to Franklin Pass area and Bullfrog Lakes in Sequoia National Forest, Tulare County (Gonzales 2001; low elevation records are from the Yosemite Valley (1,200-1,300 meters) and the arid eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada in the Owens Valley (1,400-2,000 meters) (Rovito 2010). An isolated population occurs at Smith Lake, Desolation Wilderness, El Dorado County. Distribution may be more continuous than present records indicate.

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 CA

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)
CA Alpine (06003)*, El Dorado (06017), Fresno (06019), Inyo (06027), Madera (06039)*, Mariposa (06043), Mono (06051), Sierra (06091), Tulare (06107), Tuolumne (06109)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
16 West Walker (16050302)+
18 Upper Yuba (18020125)+, South Fork American (18020129)+, Upper Kern (18030001)+, Upper Kaweah (18030007)+*, Upper King (18030010)+, Upper San Joaquin (18040006)+*, Upper Merced (18040008)+, Upper Tuolumne (18040009)+, Upper Stanislaus (18040010)+, Mono Lake (18090101)+, Crowley Lake (18090102)+, Owens Lake (18090103)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Help
Basic Description: A small, lungless salamander that matches granite in color.
Reproduction Comments: Clutch size 6-14.
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Bare rock/talus/scree
Subterranean Habitat(s): Subterrestrial
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Granite rock exposures, talus, and rock fissures, near seepages from streams or melting snow, also in spray zone of waterfalls. Apparently prefers north-facing slopes. Under rocks or in caves or crevices during daylight hours. Terrestrial breeder.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats various small invertebrates, centipedes, spiders, termites, beetles, etc. (Stebbins 1972).
Adult Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Inactive in cold temperatures and hot, dry weather. Active late spring to fall but period of activity varies somewhat with elevation/local conditions (Stebbins 1985).
Length: 11 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Help
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Help
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Help
Group Name: Terrestrial 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 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; major river or lake; other totally inappropriate habitat that the salamanders cannot traverse.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 3 km
Separation Justification: These salamanders rarely successfully cross roadways that have heavy traffic volume at night, when most movements occur. Rivers and lakes pose formidable impediments to movement and generally function as barriers, with the effect increasing with river and lake size. Treatment of these as barriers or unsuitable habitat is a subjective determination.

Compared to larger ambystomatid salamanders, the movements of plethodontids are poorly documented, but it is clear that home ranges tend to be very small (e.g., Marvin 2001), on the order of a few meters to a few dozen meters in diameter. For example, Welsh and Lind (1992) found that over six months, 66% of Plethodon elongatus males and 80% of females recaptured were in the same 7.5 x 7.5 m grid, and the maximum distance moved was 36.2 m. D. Clayton (pers. comm 1998) estimated that average home ranges may be as small as one square meter. Yet, on occasion, dispersing plethodontids likely travel at least several hundred meters. The separation distance for unsuitable habitat reflects the nominal minimum value of 1 km. The separation distance for suitable habitat reflects the limited movements of these salamanders, tempered by their tendency to occur throughout patches of suitable habitat and the likely low probability that two locations separated by a gap of less than a few kilometers of suitable habitat would represent independent occurrences over the long term.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .1 km
Date: 10Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 04May2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Macey, J. R., T. J. Papenfuss, and G. Hammerson
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 15Apr1986
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
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Gonzales, R. 2001. Geographic distribution: Hydromantes platycephalus. Herpetological Review 32:268.

  • Gorman, J. 1964. Hydromantes brunus, H. platycephalus, H. shastae. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. 11:1-2.

  • Jennings, M. R., and M. P. Hayes. 1994. Decline of native ranid frogs in the desert southwest. Pages 183-211 in P. R. Brown and J. W. Wright (editors). Herpetology of the North American Deserts, Southwestern Herpetologists society, Special Publication Number 5.

  • Lanza, B., and S. Vanni. 1981. On the biogeography of plethodontid salamanders (Amphibia, Caudata) with a description of a new genus. Monitore Zool. Ital. 15:117-121.

  • Petranka, J. W. 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

  • Rovito, S. M. 2010. Lineage divergence and speciation in the web-toed salamanders (Plethodontidae: Hydromantes) of the Sierra Nevada, California. Molecular Ecology 19:4554-4571.

  • Smith, H. M., and D. B. Wake. 1993. HYDROMANTES Gistel, 1848 (Amphibia, Caudata): proposed designation of SALAMANDRA GENEI Temminck & Schlegel, 1838 as the type species. Bull. Zool. Namen. 50(3):219-

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1972. California Amphibians and Reptiles. University of California Press, Berkeley, California.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1985a. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Second edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. xiv + 336 pp.

Use Guidelines & Citation

Use Guidelines and Citation

The Small Print: Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.

Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of March 2018.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2018 NatureServe, 4600 N. Fairfax Dr., 7th Floor, Arlington Virginia 22203, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2018. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

Restrictions on Use: Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted under the following conditions:
  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
  4. No graphics available from this server can be used, copied or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel, or otherwise any license or right under any trademark of NatureServe. No trademark owned by NatureServe may be used in advertising or promotion pertaining to the distribution of documents delivered from this server without specific advance permission from NatureServe. Except as expressly provided above, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any NatureServe copyright.
Information Warranty Disclaimer: All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to the currentness, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantibility, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this server or any other documents that are referenced to or linked to this server. In no event shall NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages, or for damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice; however, NatureServe makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Since the data in the central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. Site specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are proposed on a site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs).

Feedback Request: NatureServe encourages users to let us know of any errors or significant omissions that you find in the data through (see Contact Us). Your comments will be very valuable in improving the overall quality of our databases for the benefit of all users.