Pseudotriton montanus - Baird, 1849
Mud Salamander
Other English Common Names: mud salamander
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Pseudotriton montanus Baird, 1850 (TSN 173682)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.106320
Element Code: AAAAD13010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Amphibians - Salamanders
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae Pseudotriton
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: Pseudotriton montanus
Taxonomic Comments: Distinctiveness of nominal subspecies has not been confirmed by genetic data. Subspecies diastictus was proposed as a distinct species by Collins (1991), but he did not present any data to support this proposal. Frost (2007) recognized Pseudotriton diastictus as a distinct species but did not cite any data to support this arrangement. Crother (2008) retained diastictus as a subspecies of Pseudotriton montanus. Pending further data, this database includes diastictus as a subspecies of Pseudotriton montanus.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 28May2008
Global Status Last Changed: 13Nov2001
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Widely distributed and secure in large range in the southeastern United States.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (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 (S4), Delaware (SNR), District of Columbia (S3), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S4), Kentucky (S4), Louisiana (S1), Maryland (S2?), Mississippi (S2), New Jersey (S2), North Carolina (S5), Ohio (S2), Pennsylvania (S1), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (S5), Virginia (S5), West Virginia (S1)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range extends includes the Gulf Coastal Plain from eastern Louisiana to central Florida, and extends northward in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont of eastern Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia, including the Coastal Plain only of Maryland and southern New Jersey; west of the Appalachians, this species occurs in eastern Tennessee, Kentucky, western West Virginia, western Virginia, and southern Ohio (some regard these populations as a distinct species, P. diastichus); isolated populations exist in east-central Mississippi and south-central Pennsylvania (Petranka 1998).

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by many and/or large occurrences throughout most of the range.

Population Size: 10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but presumably exceeds 10,000. This salamander is secretive and likely more numerous than available records indicate.

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: No major threats are known. Wetland loss and degradation may have negatively affected this species on the Delmarva Peninsula (Heckscher 1995). However, this species probably tolerates habitat disturbance (e.g., siltation) better than do many eastern salamanders (Petranka 1998).

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Current trend is not documented, but the population probably is relatively stable overall.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%
Long-term Trend Comments: Over the long term, extent of occurrence likely has been relatively stable; population size, area of occurrence, and number/condition of occurrences probably have declined by less than 25 percent.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

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

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) Range extends includes the Gulf Coastal Plain from eastern Louisiana to central Florida, and extends northward in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont of eastern Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia, including the Coastal Plain only of Maryland and southern New Jersey; west of the Appalachians, this species occurs in eastern Tennessee, Kentucky, western West Virginia, western Virginia, and southern Ohio (some regard these populations as a distinct species, P. diastichus); isolated populations exist in east-central Mississippi and south-central Pennsylvania (Petranka 1998).

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, DC, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, NJ, OH, PA, SC, TN, 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


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Dale (01045)*
DE New Castle (10003), Sussex (10005)
LA St. Tammany (22103), Washington (22117)*
MS Copiah (28029)*, Forrest (28035)*, Hancock (28045)*, Harrison (28047), Jackson (28059)*, Jasper (28061)*, Jefferson Davis (28065)*, Jones (28067)*, Lamar (28073)*, Lauderdale (28075)*, Lincoln (28085)*, Perry (28111)*, Smith (28129), Wayne (28153)*
NJ Atlantic (34001), Burlington (34005)*
OH Adams (39001), Athens (39009)*, Lawrence (39087)*, Ross (39141), Scioto (39145)*, Vinton (39163)*
PA Cumberland (42041)*, Franklin (42055)
SC Beaufort (45013)*, Jasper (45053)*
WV Boone (54005)*, Cabell (54011), Fayette (54019), Jackson (54035)*, Kanawha (54039)*, Logan (54045)*, Mason (54053)*, Mingo (54059)*, Nicholas (54067)*, Putnam (54079)*, Raleigh (54081)*, Summers (54089)*, Tucker (54093), Wayne (54099), Webster (54101)*, Wood (54107)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Lower Delaware (02040202)+*, Brandywine-Christina (02040205)+*, Broadkill-Smyrna (02040207)+*, Great Egg Harbor (02040302)+, Chincoteague (02040303)+, Lower Susquehanna-Swatara (02050305)+*, Chester-Sassafras (02060002)+, Conococheague-Opequon (02070004)+, Western Lower Delmarva (02080109)+, Eastern Lower Delmarva (02080110)+*
03 Calibogue Sound-Wright River (03060110)+*, Upper Choctawhatchee (03140201)+*, Chunky-Okatibbee (03170001)+*, Upper Leaf (03170004)+, Lower Leaf (03170005)+*, Black (03170007)+*, Mississippi Coastal (03170009)+, Middle Pearl-Silver (03180003)+*, Lower Pearl. Mississippi (03180004)+, Bogue Chitto (03180005)+*
05 Cheat (05020004)+, Upper Ohio-Shade (05030202)+*, Little Kanawha (05030203)+*, Middle New (05050002)+*, Lower New (05050004)+, Gauley (05050005)+*, Lower Kanawha (05050008)+*, Coal (05050009)+*, Lower Scioto (05060002)+, Upper Guyandotte (05070101)+*, Lower Guyandotte (05070102)+*, Tug (05070201)+*, Big Sandy (05070204)+*, Raccoon-Symmes (05090101)+*, Twelvepole (05090102)+, Ohio Brush-Whiteoak (05090201)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A stout-bodied salamander.
General Description: A stout, coral pink, bright red, rusty, or brownish salmon salamander; dorsum had distinct ot obscure black spots; older individuals tend to be darker than younger ones; belly is reddish or yellowish; eyes are brown; 16-18 costal grooves; adult total length usually is 7-17 cm, maximum about 21 cm (12 cm in northern Florida and southern Georgia) (Smith 1978, Pfingsten and Downs 1989, Conant and Collins 1991).
Reproduction Comments: Lays clutch of 65-200 eggs in late fall to early winter, apparently every other year. Aquatic larvae hatch in late winter, metamorphose in 14-32 months in western South Carolina. Sexually mature in 2.5 (males) or 4-5 (females) years.
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian, SCRUB-SHRUB WETLAND
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Muddy springs, slow floodplain streams, and swamps along slow streams; backwater ponds and marshes created by beaver activity. Nonlarval forms usually occur beneath logs and rocks, in decaying vegetation, and in muddy stream-bank burrows. Occasionally disperses from wet muddy areas. Secretive, sometimes difficult to detect.

Eggs are attached separately to objects in water (e.g., undersides of leaves in quiet pool, Green and Pauley 1987).

Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Feeds opportunistically on arthropods and earthworms.
Length: 20 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Help
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Help
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
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 06Jan2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 08Sep1995
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
  • Ashton, R. E., Jr., and P. S. Ashton. 1988. Handbook of reptiles and amphibians of Florida. Part Three. The amphibians. Windward Publ. Co., Miami.

  • BRANDON, R. A., AND J. E. HUHEEY. 1981. TOXICITY IN THE PLETHODONTID SALAMANDERS PSEUDOTRITON RUBER AND PSEUDOTRITON MONTANUS (AMPHIBIA, CAUDATA). TOXICON. 19:25-31

  • BRUCE, R. C. 1975 REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY AND THE MUD SALAMANDER PSEUDOTRITON MONTANUS IN W. NORTH CAROLINA. COPEIA 1975:129-37.

  • Barbour, R. W. 1971. Amphibians and reptiles of Kentucky. Univ. Press of Kentucky, Lexington. x + 334 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.

  • Bruce, R. C. 1969. Fecundity in primitive plethodontid salamanders. Evolution 23:50-54.

  • Bruce, R. C. 1974. Larval development of the salamander PSEUDOTRITON MONTANUS DIASTICTUS and P. RUBER. Am. Midl. Nat. 92:173-190.

  • Bruce, R. C. 1975. Reproductive biology of the mud salamander, PSEUDOTRITON MONTANUS, in western North Carolina. Copeia 1975:129-137.

  • CONANT, R. 1975. A FIELD GUIDE TO REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS OF E. AND CENTRAL N. AMERICA. 2ND EDITION. HOUGHTON MIFFLIN CO., BOSTON, MA.

  • Cliburn, J.W. 1976. A key to the amphibians and reptiles of Mississippi. Fourth edition. Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, Jackson, Mississippi. 71 pp.

  • Collins, J. T. 1991. Viewpoint: a new taxonomic arrangement for some North American amphibians and reptiles. SSAR Herpetol. Review 22:42-43.

  • Conant, R. and J. T. Collins. 1991. A field guide to reptiles and amphibians: eastern and central North America. Third edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Massachusetts. 450 pp.

  • Cook, F.A. 1957. Salamanders of Mississippi. Mississippi Game and Fish Commission Museum. 28 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.

  • 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. Online with updates at: http://www.ssarherps.org/pages/comm_names/Index.php

  • Dodd, C. K., Jr. 2004. The amphibians of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville. xvii + 283 pp.

  • Dundee, H. A., and D. A. Rossman. 1989. The amphibians and reptiles of Louisiana. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge.

  • Dundee, H.E., and D.A. Rossman. 1989. The amphibians and reptiles of Louisiana. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge. 300 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.

  • Frost, D. R. 2007. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.1 (10 October, 2007). Electronic Database accessible at http://research.amnh.org/herpetology/amphibia/index.php. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.

  • Green, N. B., and T. K. Pauley. 1987. Amphibians and reptiles in West Virginia. University of Pittsburg Press, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. xi + 241 pp.

  • Heckscher, C. M. 1995. Distribution and habitat associations of the eastern mud salamander, Pseudotriton montanus montanus, on the Delmarva Peninsula. Maryland Naturalist 39:11-14.

  • Huheey, J. E., and A. Stupka. 1967. Amphibians and reptiles of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville. ix + 98 pp.

  • Hunsinger, T. W. 2005. Pseudotriton montanus Baird, 1849. Mud salamander. Pages 858-860 in M. Lannoo, editor. Amphibian declines: the conservation status of United States species. University of California Press, Berkeley.

  • Lohoefener, R. and R. Altig. 1983. Mississippi herpetology. Mississippi State University Research Center, NSTL Station, Mississippi. 66 pp.

  • MARTOF, B. S. 1975. PSEUDOTRITON MONTANUS. CAT. AM AMPHIB. AND REPTILES. PP. 166.1-166.2.

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  • Martof, B. S., W. M. Palmer, J. R. Bailey, and J. R. Harrison, III. 1980. Amphibians and reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 264 pp.

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  • Mount, R. H. 1975. The reptiles and amphibians of Alabama. Auburn University Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, Alabama. vii + 347 pages.

  • Mount, R. H. 1975. The reptiles and amphibians of Alabama. Auburn University Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, Alabama. vii + 347 pp.

  • Mount, R.H. 1975. The reptiles and amphibians of Alabama. Auburn University, Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn. 347 pp.

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

  • Pfingsten, R. A., and F. L. Downs, eds. 1989. Salamanders of Ohio. Bull. Ohio Biological Survey 7(2):xx + 315 pp.

  • 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.

  • SEYLE, W., AND G. K. WILLIAMSON. 1988 (IN PREP). REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS OF GEORGIA: RANGE MAPS

  • Smith, H. M. 1978. A guide to field identification Amphibians of North America. Golden Press, New York.

  • 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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