Jemez Mountains salamander (Plethodon neomexicanus)
Where Listed: WHEREVER FOUND
The Jemez Mountains salamander is uniformly dark brown above, with occasional fine gold to brassy coloring with stippling dorsally (on the back and sides) and is sooty gray ventrally (underside). The salamander is slender and elongate, and it possesses foot webbing and a reduced fifth toe. This salamander is a member of the family Plethodontidae, is strictly terrestrial, and does not use standing surface water for any life stage. Respiration (the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide) occurs through the skin, which requires a moist microclimate for gas exchange.
- States/US Territories in which the Jemez Mountains salamander is known to or is believed to occur: New Mexico
- US Counties in which the Jemez Mountains salamander is known to or is believed to occur: View All
- Additional species information
|Status||Date Listed||Lead Region||Where Listed|
|10/10/2013||Southwest Region (Region 2)|
» Federal Register Documents
No recovery information is available for the Jemez Mountains salamander.
» Critical Habitat
|Date||Citation Page||Title||Document Type||Status|
|11/20/2013||78 FR 69569 69591||Designation of Critical Habitat for the Jemez Mountains Salamander||Final Rule||Final designated|
|09/12/2012||77 FR 56481 56513||Proposed Endangered Status for the Jemez Mountains Salamander and Proposed Designation of Critical Habitat||Proposed Rule||Not Required|
To learn more about critical habitat please see http://ecos.fws.gov/crithab
» Conservation Plans
|CCA Plan Summaries|
|Jemez Mountain salamander|
» Life History
The strictly terrestrial Jemez Mountains salamander predominantly inhabits mixed-conifer forest, consisting primarily of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), blue spruce (Picea pungens), Engelman spruce (P. engelmannii), white fir (Abies concolor), limber pine (Pinus flexilis), Ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa), Rocky Mountain maple (Acer glabrum), and aspen (Populus tremuloides) (Reagan 1967, p. 17; Degenhardt et al. 1996, p. 28). Although pure stands of Ponderosa pine may not be considered ideal habitat, the species has occasionally been found in this habitat. The species has also occasionally been found in spruce-fir and aspen stands, and high-elevation meadows. However, these habitat types have not been adequately surveyed so the extent to which salamanders use these habitats is not fully known. Predominant understory trees include Rocky Mountain maple (Acer glabrum), New Mexico locust (Robinia neomexicana), oceanspray (Holodiscus sp.), and various shrubby oaks (Quercus spp.) (Reagan 1967, p. 17; Degenhardt et al. 1996, p. 28).
Salamander prey from aboveground foraging is diverse in size and type, with ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), mites (Acari), and beetles (Coleoptera) being most important (most numerous, most voluminous, and most frequent) in the salamander’s diet (Cummer 2005, p. 43). Cummer (2005, pp. 45–50) found that specialization on invertebrate species was unlikely, but there was likely a preferential selection of prey categories (ants, mites, and beetles).
Movement / Home Range
In a mark–recapture study conducted by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF), the average distance of 32 movements measured via recapture either in the same year or from year to year, measured over the course of approximately 10 years within a 164-ft-by-164-ft (50-m-by-50-m) plot, was 19.6 ft (5.98 m), with a maximum distance moved from original capture site of 60.7 ft (18.5 m) (NMDGF 2000, p. 15).
Sexual maturity is attained at 3 to 4 years in age for females and 3 years for males (Williams 1976, pp. 31, 35). Reproduction in the wild has not been observed; however, based on observed physiological changes, mating is believed to occur above ground between July and August during the rainy season (Williams 1976, pp. 31–36). Based on examination of 57 female salamanders in the wild and 1 clutch of eggs laid in a laboratory setting, Williams (1978, p. 475) concluded that females likely lay 7 or 8 eggs every 2 to 3 years. Eggs are thought to be laid underground in the spring, about 9 to 10 months after mating occurs (Williams 1978, p. 475). Fully formed Jemez Mountains salamanders hatch from the eggs.
» Other Resources
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ITIS Reports -- ITIS (the Integrated Taxonomic Information System) is a source for authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.
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