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Amphibians in the Canaan Valley Drainage
- Pauley, Thomas K.
- Southeastern naturalist 2015 v.14 no.sp7 pp. 314-322
- Ambystoma, Anaxyrus, Hyla, Lithobates catesbeianus, Notophthalmus, Plethodon cinereus, Pseudacris, Rana palustris, Rana sylvatica, drainage, frogs, highlands, mountains, rivers, salamanders and newts, seals, toads, West Virginia
- I have been studying amphibians in Canaan Valley and its surrounding region since 1976. Most of my studies inventoried populations of Plethodon nettingi (Cheat Mountain Salamander). I sampled 29 upland sites on the mountains around Canaan Valley: (1) twelve sites on Canaan Mountain, which forms Canaan Valley's western rim, were distributed from Chimney Rock, at the southern end of Canaan Mountain, northwards to the Blackwater River at Camp 70; (2) on the eastern rim of Canaan Valley, 17 sites were on Cabin Mountain, from Snowy Point in the north to Weiss Knob in the south. At the montane sites, I observed 11 salamander species and 1 toad species. Salamanders found included Ambystoma maculatum (Spotted Salamander), Notophthalmus v. viridescens (Red-spotted Newt), Desmognathus monticola (Seal Salamander), Desmognathus ochrophaeus (Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander); Gyrinophilus p. porphyriticus (Northern Spring Salamander), Hemidactylium scutatum (Four-toed Salamander), Eurycea bislineata (Northern Two-lined Salamander), Plethodon cinereus (Eastern Red-backed Salamander), Cheat Mountain Salamander; P. glutinosus (Northern Slimy Salamander), and P. wehrlei (Wehrle's Salamander). The only toad observed was Anaxyrus americanus (Eastern American Toad). I have monitored one population of the Cheat Mountain Salamander at the headwaters of Yoakum Run on Cabin Mountain since 1986, making this the longest continuously running study of a salamander in West Virginia. I also studied 10 sites in Canaan Valley, where I found 1 toad, 7 frog, and 8 salamander species. Anurans observed included the Eastern American Toad, Pseudacris brachyphona (Mountain Chorus Frog), P. crucifer (Spring Peeper), Hyla chrysoscelis (Cope's Gray Treefrog), Lithobates catesbeianus (American Bullfrog); L. clamitans melanota (Northern Green Frog), L. palustris (Pickerel Frog), and L. sylvaticus (Wood Frog). Urodeles found included the Spotted Salamander, Red-spotted Newt, Desmognathus fuscus (Northern Dusky Salamander), Seal Salamander, Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander, Northern Spring Salamander, Four-toed Salamander, and Northern Two-lined Salamander. Amphibians that may occur in Canaan Valley, but which I have not recorded, include Ambystoma jeffersonianum (Jefferson Salamander); Eurycea l. longicauda (Longtailed Salamander); and Pseudotriton r. ruber (Northern Red Salamander).