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threatened and/or endangered

Cheat Mountain Salamander Plethodon nettingi


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Cheat Mountain Salamander
credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

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Family: Plethodontidae, Lungless Salamanders view all from this family

Description Small woodland Salamander. Long. Black with brassy flecks. 18 coastal grooves.

Dimensions 7.6-12.2cm. (3-4 3/4")

Endangered Status The Cheat Mountain Salamander is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as threatened throughout its range in the mountains of east-central West Virginia. Its original habitat was Red Spruce forests, but these forests were largely destroyed by the early 20th century, and its populations probably plummeted then. The Cheat Mountain Salamander now lives in isolated populations in a variety of forest- types in the mountains between Backbone Mountain, in Tucker County in the north, and Thorny Flat, in Pocahontas County in the south. Alteration of its habitat -- even minor disturbances like the building of a hiking trail continues to pose a threat to this species. However, both it and its habitat are monitored and protected in Monongahela National Forest and Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, and its future looks hopeful.

Habitat Red spruce forests. Deciduous forests in humid areas above 845m (3,100').

Range West Virginia, Cheat Mountains.

Discussion Diet includes mites, springtails, beetles, flies, and ants. Found in very small ranges. Deforestation have led to the shrinking of their habitat. Females lay 8-10 eggs,and guard them till they hatch. Young stay with adults until they mature, then find their own territory. Rarely moves outside of it's territory. Is underground during winter.