Conservation of Texas Spring and Cave Salamanders (<i>Eurycea</i>)

Paul T. Chippindale and Andrew H. Price

in Amphibian Declines

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780520235922
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929432 | DOI:
Conservation of Texas Spring and Cave Salamanders (Eurycea)

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Many species of endemic aquatic organisms inhabit the springs and water-filled caves of the Edwards Plateau region of central Texas. Throughout the southern and eastern portions of the Edwards Plateau, numerous populations of salamanders of the genus Eurycea are known, and all are restricted to caves with water and/or the vicinity of spring outflows. This chapter describes two species that were formerly assigned to the genus Typhlomolge, but now belong to Eurycea. Nearly all populations of Eurycea in central Texas are pedomorphic (that is, attain reproductive maturity without undergoing metamorphosis). The only known exceptions are a few transforming populations in mesic canyons of the Hill Country, in the southwestern Edwards Plateau. All members of the group are aquatic, although transformed individuals may venture short distances onto land. This chapter first examines the taxonomic history of Eurycea and then considers current views of species diversity in the genus. It also discusses the conservation status of the central Texas Eurycea as well as future prospects for these salamanders.

Keywords: Edwards Plateau; Texas; conservation; Eurycea; Typhlomolge; taxonomic history; species diversity; salamanders

Chapter.  4639 words. 

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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