Plethodon variolatus (Gilliams, 1818)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Caudata > Family: Plethodontidae > Subfamily: Plethodontinae > Genus: Plethodon > Species: Plethodon variolatus

Salamandra variolata Gilliams, 1818, J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 1: 460. Type(s): "Cabinet of the Academy" (ANSP); not currently known to exist, although ANSP specimens noted by Harlan, 1827, J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 5: 334; USNM 167104 designated neotype by Highton In Highton, Maha, and Maxson, 1989, Illinois Biol. Monogr., 57: 60. Type locality: "Inhabits the southern states . . . . This species occur not unfrequently, in small streams of water . . . . not seen so far north as Maryland . . . . I am indebted for these specimens to the Florida Party"; restricted by Schmidt, 1953, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept., Ed. 6: 34, to vicinity of Charleston, South Carolina [USA], but Neill, 1957, Copeia, 1957: 141, disputed this restriction noting that the restricted type locality is within the range of Plethodon chlorobyronis. Fouquette and Dubois, 2014, Checklist N.A. Amph. Rept.: 218, regarded the restriction of the type locality as invalid by reason of not being based on explicit evidence. Neotype is from "locality 27 [33° 08′ 00″ N, 79° 47′ 06″ W]. . . , at an elevation of 6 m, Beechtree Recreation Area, Berkeley County, South Carolina", USA.

Plethodon variolatus —Highton In Highton, Maha, and Maxson, 1989, Illinois Biol. Monogr., 57: 59-60.

Plethodon (Plethodon) variolatusVieites, Román, Wake, and Wake, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 59: 632, by implication.

English Names

Variolated Salamander (Gray, 1831, in Cuvier, Animal Kingdom (Griffith), 9—Appendix: 107).

South Carolina Coastal Slimy Salamander (Highton In Highton, Maha, and Maxson, 1989, Illinois Biol. Monogr., 57: 59).

South Carolina Slimy Salamander (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 33; Collins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 9; Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 29; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 21; Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 14; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 30; Highton, Bonett, and Jockusch, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 32).


Southern Coastal Plain physiographic province of South Carolina and extreme eastern Georgia, USA.


In the Plethodon glutinosus complex, according to the original publication. Removed from the synonymy of Plethodon glutinosus, by Highton IN Highton, Maha, and Maxson, 1989, Illinois Biol. Monogr., 57: 59–60, where it had been placed by Baird, 1850 "1849", J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, Ser. 2, 1: 284, and Duméril, Bibron, and Duméril, 1854, Erp. Gen., 9: 80. Petranka, 1998, Salamand. U.S. Canada: 355, rejected the distinction from Plethodon glutinosus on the basis of overall similarity. Beamer and Lannoo, 2005, in Lannoo (ed.), Amph. Declines: 847–848, provided a detailed account that summarized the biology and conservation literature. Wiens, Engstrom, and Chippindale, 2006, Evolution, 60: 2585–2603, suggested the possibility that Plethodon chlorobryonis and Plethodon variolatus are conspecific; Highton, Hastings, Palmer, Watts, Hass, Culver, and Arnold, 2012, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 63: 278–290, discussed the evidence for this and rejected the hypothesis. Raffaëlli, 2013, Urodeles du Monde, 2nd ed.: 398, provided a brief account, photograph, and range map. 

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