| ! Hunting & Fishing Licenses | Boat Registration Renewal|
Photo Credit: Eric Soehren
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Aneides aeneus (Cope and Packard)
OTHER NAMES: None.
DESCRIPTION: A medium-sized (max. = 140 mm [5.5 in.] total length) plethodontid salamander. Head dorso-ventrally flattened and broad; in adults, broader than body. Nasolabial grooves present, and 14 or 15 costal grooves prominent. Toes end in distinctly squared toe pads. Webbing between digits varies from light to moderate. Tail rounded and the same size or slightly longer than rest of body. Dorsum dark with metallic greenish or yellow green mottling, resembling the color of lichens on tree bark or wet rock. Venter light-colored and generally immaculate (Mount 1975, Petranka 1998). Reproductive males have a mental (chin) gland lacking in females.
DISTRIBUTION: Majority includes parts of the Allegheny Plateau and the
HABITAT: Crevices in cliff faces, rock outcrops, and caves in shaded, mesic hardwood forests. Crevices are moist, but not permanently wet. Occasionally found under fallen tree bark, or in rotting logs and stumps that probably feature lower temperatures and higher relative humidity.
LIFE HISTORY AND ECOLOGY: Mating may occur May through September throughout distribution, with no apparent latitudinal pattern in timing of oviposition. Eggs laid in crevices, or under the bark of rotting logs. Those laid in crevices usually suspended from roof of crevice by several strands of mucus. Clutches laid in June or July; hatch in late August through late October (Gordon 1952, 1967; Mount 1975). Clutch size varies from 10 to 27 eggs per clutch (Bishop 1943, Petranka 1998). Females attend eggs, and hatching success closely linked to female attendance (Snyder 1973). Upon hatching, juveniles disperse from crevices and find crevices with moss beds. At night, adults venture out from crevice retreats and climb vertical rock faces, presumably in search of food. During the day, retreat to shallow crevices where they can occasionally be viewed via flashlight. In winter, retreat to deeper crevices to avoid freezing. Little diet data available; however, the few studies conducted indicate a wide variety of invertebrates are eaten. Ring-necked snakes are known predators of eggs and adults.
BASIS FOR STATUS CLASSIFICATION: A habitat specialist throughout its distribution. Since
Author: George R. Cline