Hemidactylium scutatum


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

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

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
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 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). Distribution is fairly continuous in the northeastern part of the range, spotty in the southwestern part.
Canada; United States
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 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. 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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Primary potential threat is loss/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). 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 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: Geoffrey Hammerson 2004. Hemidactylium scutatum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <>. Downloaded on 23 October 2014.
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