Ambystoma talpoideum 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Ambystomatidae

Scientific Name: Ambystoma talpoideum
Species Authority: (Holbrook, 1838)
Common Name(s):
English Mole Salamander
Salamandra talpoidea Holbrook, 1838
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 can be found in the south-eastern USA from the Coastal Plain of South Carolina through northern Florida, west to eastern Texas and southeastern Oklahoma; north in the Mississippi Valley to southern Illinois; disjunctive populations in occur Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky (Conant and Collins 1991).
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 surely 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 is usually found near breeding ponds--in pine flatwoods, floodplains, and bottomland hardwood forests. In South Carolina, avoided clear cuts and open fields, occurred in all types of forest (Semlitsch 1981). Terrestrial adults live in underground burrows; sometimes found under logs or other objects in damp places. Breeds in shallow ponds and flooded depressions that are free of fishes and that often have abundant emergent and/or submerged vegetation. Eggs are attached to stems or sticks or to the substrate. Reproductive success positively correlated with duration of standing water in breeding pond, but not with number of breeding females or number of eggs laid (Semlitsch 1987).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats include: draining or filling of breeding ponds; introduction of predatory fishes in conjunction with deepening of breeding ponds; loss and degradation of forest habitat surrounding breeding ponds. Many local populations have been lost, as native forests with seasonal pools have been converted to agricultural and urban uses. In Louisiana, a clear-cut near a breeding pond apparently affected the salamander population by (1) lowering the survival of adults immigrating from the clear-cut side of the pond, and (2) displacing adults to a less suitable terrestrial habitat (Raymond and Hardy 1991).

Conservation Actions [top]

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

Citation: Geoffrey Hammerson. 2004. Ambystoma talpoideum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T59069A11878224. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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