Hemidactylium scutatum 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae

Scientific Name: Hemidactylium scutatum
Species Authority: (Temminck, 1838)
Common Name(s):
English Four-toed Salamander
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2014. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0 (7 July 2014). Electronic Database. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-08-25
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N.
Contributor(s): Hammerson, G.A. & Pelletier, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Angulo, A. & Hobin, L.
Listed as Least Concern in view of the large extent of occurrence, large number of subpopulations and locations, and presumed large population size, and because the species probably is not declining fast enough to qualify for any of the threatened categories.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2014 Least Concern (LC)
2004 Least Concern (LC)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is discontinuously distributed in the USA 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.
Countries occurrence:
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 probably more abundant than available records indicate, being relatively difficult to find. Its population is probably relatively stable overall.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: Unknown

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 records 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). Sub-populations 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 have probably reduced the range in some areas (Means 1992). It is tolerant of non-destructive intrusion.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
Occurs in many protected areas.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2015. Hemidactylium scutatum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T59285A78906529. . Downloaded on 01 December 2015.
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