The Status of Plethodon ainsworthi Lazell: Extinct, Extant, or Nonexistent?

Kaysie

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Http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1656/058.012.0419

The Status of Plethodon ainsworthi Lazell: Extinct, Extant, or Nonexistent?



Abstract


Plethodon ainsworthi Lazell was described as a new species in the slimy salamander (Plethodon glutinosus [Northern Slimy Salamander]) complex from two specimens collected in Jasper County, MS, in 1964. Prior to their designation as the type and paratype of the newly described species in 1998, both specimens were presumably stored in strong formalin for 26 years and thus were in poor condition. Plethodon ainsworthi is distinguished from the sympatric Plethodon mississippi (Mississippi Slimy Salamander) by a more attenuated body, as evidenced by a higher snout-vent length (SVL)/head width (HW) ratio, and shorter limbs. Despite numerous searches between 1991 and 1997, no subsequent specimens of P. ainsworthi were found. As a result, P. ainsworthi is the only modern-day amphibian in the United States to be declared extinct by the IUCN. In 2000 and 2001, we searched the presumed location of the type specimens of P. ainsworthi for additional specimens. Although we located slimy salamanders, we did not find any specimens with noticeably attenuated bodies or short limbs. We then compared SVL/HW ratios between the two specimens of P. ainsworthi, 24 specimens of slimy salamanders that we collected in Jasper County from or near the collection site of P. ainsworthi, and 50 museum specimens of P. mississippi collected from six counties in Mississippi outside of Jasper County. The upper limit of the SVL/HW ratio for some of the specimens we collected, as well as for some of the museum specimens of P. mississippi, was considerably higher than the 7.2 reported for P. mississippi by Lazell (1998). In addition, we found overlap in SVL/HW ratios between P. ainsworthi and one specimen of P. mississippi, although this individual did not have short limbs. The distinct morphology of P. ainsworthi may be the consequence of the long-term, improper preservation of specimens of P. mississippi. Our results provide compelling evidence that P. ainsworthi is not a valid taxon.
 
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    My pleasure! River rocks work well too, and go rather well with all kinda lung less salamanders,
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    It tells me temperature AND humidity.
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    Where'd you get that? Or is it just a combo from petsmart or something?
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    I’m pretty sure I got it at a Walmart.
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    I just looked it up to see if I can find it again. It’s actually a hyGROmeter and temperature. Which measures the dew point. Here is the difference between due point and humidity. https://www.weather.gov/arx/why_dewpoint_vs_humidityYou can calculate Th relative
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    the relative humidity using the dew point measurement.
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    Here is the product I purchased:
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    it has a stand. And I had a spare suction from my filter. So it’s on the wall of my Sal’s enclosure.
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    That’s a pic of it in the enclosure.
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    Nice! Also, from what I can see you have an amazing setup! What species?
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    S. S. Gigliolli
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    What would be the best thing to do ?
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