Plethodon punctatus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Plethodon punctatus
Species Authority: Highton, 1971 [1972]
Common Name(s):
English White-spotted Salamander

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor(s): Geoffrey Hammerson, Joseph Mitchell
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Near Threatened because, although its Extent of Occurrence is less than 20,000 km2, it occurs in a habitat that is not under significant threat, and so it is probably not in decline.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species can be found in the Shenandoah, North, and Great North mountains, George Washington National Forest, Virginia (Augusta, Rockingham, and Shenandoah Counties) and West Virginia, USA (Green and Pauley 1987; Conant and Collins 1991; Petranka 1998), from 735-1,200m asl (but mainly from 900-1,200m asl).
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Its total adult population size is unknown but deforestation has probably reduced its distribution and abundance compared with historical levels.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occurs in ridge and valley areas in mixed deciduous forest interspersed with Virginia pine and hemlock and numerous rock outcrops (Green and Pauley 1987). It is most abundant in old-growth forests with many downed logs and in areas with an abundance of surface rocks (Mitchell 1991), including talus. It tends to be most abundant on north-facing slopes. During the day it is found under rocks and logs or in burrows. Breeding is terrestrial by direct development.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The principal threats to this species include deforestation through logging, and defoliation by gypsy moths (Lymantria dispar); the effect of spraying pesticides to control gypsy moths is unknown (Mitchell 1991). Firewood collection and over-collection of individuals are also potential threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Much of its habitat is now protected, and its populations are likely to be stable. Most occurrences are within George Washington National Forest, where many sites are classified as roadless areas or unforestable. The United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service is aware of the populations of this species and its sensitivity.

Citation: Geoffrey Hammerson, Joseph Mitchell 2004. Plethodon punctatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 30 March 2015.
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