Plethodon cylindraceus - (Harlan, 1825)
White-spotted Slimy Salamander
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Plethodon cylindraceus (Harlan, 1825) (TSN 208283)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104153
Element Code: AAAAD12410
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Amphibians - Salamanders
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae Plethodon
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Highton, R., G.C. Maha, and L.R. Maxson. 1989. Biochemical evolution in the slimy salamanders of the Plethodon glutinosus complex in the eastern United States. Illinois Biological Monographs 57:1-153.
Concept Reference Code: B89HIG01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Plethodon cylindraceus
Taxonomic Comments: Highton et al. (1989) regarded P. glutinosus (sensu lato) as a complex of multiple species, most of which can be recognized only by biochemical characteristics (allele frequencies). Taxa formerly included in P. glutinosus and recognized as distinct species by Highton et al. (1989) include: P. teyahalee, P. chattahoochee, P. chlorobryonis, P. variolatus, P. ocmulgee, P. kiamichi, P. mississippi, P. kisatchie, P. sequoyah, P. grobmani, P. cylindraceus, P. albagula, P. savannah, P. aureolus, and P. kentucki. Some salamander taxonomists question the practice of recognizing species that are distinguished only by differences in allele frequencies, particularly in the absence of direct information on reproductive isolation (Wake, in Highton et al. 1989; Frost and Hillis 1990).

Petranka (1998) regarded P. aureolus, P. kentucki, and P. teyahalee (as P. oconaluftee) as distinct species, but he regarded P. chattahoochee, P. chlorobryonis, P. variolatus, P. ocmulgee, P. kiamichi, P. mississippi, P. kisatchie, P. sequoyah, P. grobmani, P. cylindraceus, P. albagula, and P. savannah as conspecific with (and junior synonyms of) P. glutinosus. Petranka felt that the split of P. glutinosus into multiple species was premature because of the lack of detailed information on genetic interactions at contact zones between the nominal taxa.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 23Aug2004
Global Status Last Changed: 31Oct2001
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Secure; not universally accepted as a valid species.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (31Jan2000)

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 North Carolina (S5), South Carolina (SNR), Virginia (S5), West Virginia (S5)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Piedmont and Blue Ridge physiographic provinces of Virginia and North Carolina west to the French Broad River and south to the northern Piedmont of South Carolina, and parts of the Valley and Ridge physiographic province in western Virginia and extreme eastern West Virginia and in a small area of the Coastal Plain of eastern Virginia (Highton et al. 1989); also probably the Blue Ridge Mountains and Valley and Ridge provinces in northeastern Tennessee (Redmond and Scott 1996). Elevational range at least 137-1,036 m (Highton et al. 1989).

Number of Occurrences:  
Number of Occurrences Comments: Represented by many and/or large occurrences throughout most of the range.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Moderate to broad.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Piedmont and Blue Ridge physiographic provinces of Virginia and North Carolina west to the French Broad River and south to the northern Piedmont of South Carolina, and parts of the Valley and Ridge physiographic province in western Virginia and extreme eastern West Virginia and in a small area of the Coastal Plain of eastern Virginia (Highton et al. 1989); also probably the Blue Ridge Mountains and Valley and Ridge provinces in northeastern Tennessee (Redmond and Scott 1996). Elevational range at least 137-1,036 m (Highton et al. 1989).

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 NC, SC, VA, WV

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

Ecology & Life History
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Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Forest habitats; terrestrial breeder.
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: 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
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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: 23Aug2004
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 03May2001

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

References
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  • 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.

  • Carr, D. E. 1996. Morphological variation among species and populations of salamanders in the Plethodon glutinosus complex. Herpetologica 52:56-65.

  • Collins, J. T., and T. W. Taggart. 2002. Standard common and current scientific names for North American amphibians, turtles, reptiles, & crocodilians. Fifth edition. Publication of The Center for North American Herpetology, Lawrence, Kansas. iv + 44 pp.

  • Crother, B. I., J. Boundy, J. A. Campbell, K. de Queiroz, D. R. Frost, R. Highton, J. B. Iverson, P. A. Meylan, T. W. Reeder, M. E. Seidel, J. W. Sites, Jr., T. W. Taggart, S. G. Tilley, and D. B. Wake. 2000 [2001]. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Herpetological Circular No. 29. 82 pp.

  • Crother, B. I., J. Boundy, J. A. Campbell, K. de Quieroz, D. Frost, D. M. Green, R. Highton, J. B. Iverson, R. W. McDiarmid, P. A. Meylan, T. W. Reeder, M. E. Seidel, J. W. Sites, Jr., S. G. Tilley, and D. B. Wake. 2003. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico: update. Herpetological Review 34:198-203.

  • 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.

  • Frost, D. R., and D. M. Hillis. 1990. Species in concept and practice: herpetological applications. Herpetologica 46:87-104.

  • Highton, R., G.C. Maha, and L.R. Maxson. 1989. Biochemical evolution in the slimy salamanders of the Plethodon glutinosus complex in the eastern United States. Illinois Biological Monographs 57:1-153.

  • Mahoney, M. J. 2001. Molecular systematics of Plethodon and Aneides (Caudata: Plethodontini): phylogenetic analysis of an old and rapid radiation. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 18:174-188.

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

  • Redmond, W. H., and A. F. Scott. 1996. Atlas of amphibians in Tennessee. The Center for Field Biology, Austin Peay State University, Miscellaneous Publication Number 12. v + 94 pp.

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