The Green Salamander

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 1041
  • Published: April 23, 2006
Read full document
Text Preview
Green Salamander

The Green Salamander is a rare, small to medium salamander reaching lengths around 3-5 inches. The scientific name for the green salamander is aneides aenus. The Green Salamander is easily recognized because of the bright green markings on the black background. It has long legs and squared toe tips. The squared toe tips allow climbing to very easy (Waldron). The green salamander is very agile salamander and is able to jump six to ten inches. It is able to crawl upside down rough stone areas. The only thing that green salamander has been observed to eat is small insects that came into the crevice while the female is guarding her eggs (Gordon). It is also identified by green and yellow lichen-like pattern on its back, head, and tail. The bottom of the green salamander is a plain light gray. Usually you can tell the difference in males and females by the presence of yellowish-orange mental gland and the papilla on the cloaca. However, once breeding season begins to become very difficult to tell the difference between the male and female green salamander. These salamanders are generally found in sandstone ledge crevices, under rocks, rotting trees, and stumps. They range from extreme northeastern Mississippi through northern Alabama and up through Tennessee, eastern Kentucky and most of West Virginia. The green salamander has a flat head and body, the perfect body design for sneaking into tight cracks and crevices on cliffs, and 14-15 grooves along the sides of the body. It is the only representative of the genus Aneides, or "Climbing Salamanders," in the eastern part of the United States (Waldron).

The habit for the Green salamander is under rocks at high elevations on the edge of cliffs. There are located in the mountain regions of northeastern Mississippi through northern Alabama and up through Tennessee, eastern Kentucky up to Maryland and Pennsylvania. However, the species is predominantly located in the Appalachian Plateau and the Blue Ridge Province. Cope and Packard first discovered the Green salamander in a cave in Tennessee in 1881. It was first thought that the lived under the bark of fallen logs however it was later discovered that were weakly arboreal. It was proven that they survive best in rocky areas that are shaded and moist (Waldron). The rocky areas are generally limestone, sandstone, granite, and schist formations. They live in the rock outcrops over the fall and winter then move into trees and logs during the spring and summer. The green salamanders spend the winter in hibernation starting in November and ending in April. It has been observed by some researchers that the green salamander population increases during the spring and summer when the salamander is living in the arboreal habitat. However, the green salamander is harder to detect during the summer months. While living in the arboreal habit, the green salamander does its breeding (Humphries and Waldron).

Green salamanders do their breeding during the spring, summer and fall. Egg lying usually occurs between May and June. In West Virginia nests with anywhere from 7 up to 27 eggs have been observed. While in Kentucky, nests usually contain 14 to 20 eggs and in North Carolina 10 to 26 eggs. The females lay their eggs in crevices in rock outcrops. Nests are also sometimes seen in the bark of large trees and in old logs. The females attach their eggs to the top of crevices. They are attached in small clusters while the female lies on her back. It takes 3 to 5 weeks for the eggs to hatch and the females remains with her eggs during this time (Waldron). The female is very protective of the eggs and often tries to attack if anything enters the crevice. The eggs are a white and yellow due to the yolk present. They quickly become discolored after just a week. The eggs tend to not absorb water after they are laid. Of all the salamanders under the genus aneides, the green salamander...
tracking img