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Title: "ANEIDES AENEUS" (GREEN SALAMANDER). DISPERSAL

Author
item RIEDEL, BREANNA
item RUSSELL, KEVIN
item FORD, W MARK
item Godwin, Harry

Submitted to: Herpetological Review
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/3/2006
Publication Date: 12/20/2006
Citation: Riedel, B., Russell, K.R., Ford, W., Godwin, H.W. 2006. "Aneides aeneus" (Green Salamander). Dispersal. Herpetological Review 27:196-197.

Interpretive Summary: The Green Salamander, Aneides aeneus, inhabits cliffs and rockface outcrops in mountainous forests from southwestern Pennsylvania to extreme northeastern Mississippi. Populations are largely confined to deep crevices within sandstone, granite, and schist formations but occasionally are found under loose bark of fallen trees. The extent to which A. aeneus disperses between isolated rock outcrops is unknown. In October of 2004, a single adult Aneides aeneus was found under an artificial coverboard in an actively grazed livestock pasture at a USDA Appalachian Farming Systems Research Center in Raleigh County, West Virginia. The coverboard was more than 50 meters from the nearest rock outcrop and 46 m from the nearest woodland habitat. This observation is significant as it documents the dispersal of A. aeneus across non-forested, repeatedly disturbed habitat previously considered unsuitable for the species. This observation also suggests the possibility that artificial cover objects may facilitate dispersal of A. aeneus between rock outcrops by providing suitable microenvironments within otherwise harsh, open habitats.

Technical Abstract: Aneides aeneus inhabits cliffs and rockface outcrops at elevations <1340 m in mountainous forests from southwestern Pennsylvania to extreme northeastern Mississippi (Petranka 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. 587pp). Populations are largely confined to deep crevices within sandstone, granite, and schist formations but occasionally are found under loose bark of fallen trees (Petranka, op. cit.). The extent to which A. aeneus disperses between isolated rock outcrops is unknown. Individuals are rarely observed in adjacent forest floor habitats even when collecting around rock outcrops with large populations (Snyder 1991. J. Tenn. Acad. Sci. 66:165-169). Although A. aeneus has been recorded crossing roads during April-June (Williams and Gordon 1961. Copeia 1961:353; Cupp 1991. J. Tenn. Acad. Sci. 66:171-174), disturbance to forest habitats is thought to limit dispersal between rock outcrops (Petranka op. cit.). Here we report dispersal of A. aeneus across an open, disturbed habitat in southern West Virginia.