Hemidactylium scutatum


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Hemidactylium scutatum
Species Authority: (Temminck, 1838)
Common Name(s):
English Four-toed Salamander

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2014-08-06
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Luedtke, J.
Contributor(s): Hammerson, G.A. & Pelletier, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Angulo, A.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution and presumed large population.
2004 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is discontinuously distributed in the US and Canada from Nova Scotia (Friet and MacDonald 1995), New Brunswick, southern Quebec (e.g., Sharbel 1990), southern Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin (Vogt 1981) and Minnesota (Dorff 1995, Hall et al. 2000), south to southeastern Oklahoma, Louisiana (Dundee and Rossman 1989), Mississippi, Alabama (Mount 1975), Florida panhandle and Georgia (Conant and Collins 1991). Its distribution is fairly continuous in the northeastern part of the range, spotty in the southwestern part.
Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Québec); United States (Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The total adult population size is unknown but surely exceeds 10,000 and might exceed 100,000. The species is likely more abundant than available records indicate, being relatively difficult to find. Its population is probably relatively stable overall.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Adults live under objects or among mosses in swamps, boggy streams and wet, wooded or open areas near ponds or quiet, mossy or grassy/sedgy pools (the larval habitat). Sphagnum moss is commonly abundant in suitable habitat. Eggs are laid in moss or other protected sites immediately above or next to a pool, into which the larvae drop or wriggle after hatching. It does not require pristine habitat; Phillips et al. (1999) noted that in Illinois "several localities are second-growth woods in soggy soils below dams of man-made lakes."
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are no reports of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The primary potential threat is loss and degradation of habitat, but this is ameliorated in some areas by wetland protection regulations. However, colonies might be more or less isolated by the species' relatively restricted habitat preferences and development of intervening uplands might inhibit dispersal and colonization of new habitats (Harding 1997). Subpopulations may flourish in many moderately developed and semi-rural areas in southern New England (Klemens 1993). Road mortality does not appear substantial when compared to many species of frogs and Ambystoma salamanders (Klemens 1993). Impoundments likely have reduced the range in some areas (Means 1992). It is tolerant of non-destructive intrusion.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Many populations are adequately protected.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2014. Hemidactylium scutatum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 27 March 2015.
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