Ambystoma opacum 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Ambystomatidae

Scientific Name: Ambystoma opacum
Species Authority: (Gravenhorst, 1807)
Common Name(s):
English Marbled Salamander
Salamandra opaca Gravenhorst, 1807
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2014. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6 (27 January 2014). New York, USA. Available at: (Accessed: 27 January 2014).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Geoffrey Hammerson
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in the eastern USA from New Hampshire southward to northern Florida, west through southeastern New York to Lake Michigan region, south to eastern Oklahoma and eastern Texas. It is absent from most of the Appalachian Mountains.
Countries occurrence:
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Total adult population size is unknown but probably exceeds 100,000. Overall, its populations are stable, though there are some local declines due to habitat loss.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It can be found in various wooded habitats, vicinity of swamps and vernal pools. More tolerant of dry habitats than are most salamanders; can be found on rocky bluffs and slopes and wooded sand dunes. Adults are entirely terrestrial and are usually found under surface objects or underground. Eggs are laid in forest depressions such as vernal pool basins and sometimes at the edges of permanent ponds, swamps, and slow-moving streams; in areas likely to be flooded by fall rain. Oviposition sites typically are in bare mineral soil beneath protective cover of leaf-litter, log, detritus, or rock.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats to local populations likely include intensive timber harvesting practices that reduce canopy closure, understorey vegetation, uncompacted forest litter, or coarse woody debris (moderately to well-decayed) in areas surrounding breeding sites (deMaynadier and Hunter 1999). Breeding sites are vulnerable to destruction and degradation through draining and filling, and many are being isolated by habitat fragmentation, which could eventually result in deleterious levels of inbreeding and reduced chances of re-establishment of locally extirpated populations. Thousands of local populations already have been eliminated by habitat loss, and more will be lost in the future (Petranka 1998). This species is sometimes found in the international pet trade but at levels that do not currently constitute a major threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Needed conservation measures include protection of vernal pools and adjacent wooded areas up to at least 200-250m from the pools. Also, regulatory agencies should attempt to minimize forest fragmentation.

Citation: Geoffrey Hammerson. 2004. Ambystoma opacum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T59065A11864879. . Downloaded on 27 November 2015.
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