Siren intermedia Barnes, 1826

Class: Amphibia > Order: Caudata > Family: Sirenidae > Genus: Siren > Species: Siren intermedia

Siren intermedia Barnes, 1826, Am. J. Sci. Arts, 11: 269. Syntypes: "in the Cabinet of the Lyceum", not now known to exist. Type locality: "Southern states", USA; restricted to "Liberty County, Georgia", USA, by Schmidt, 1953, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept., Ed. 6: 14.

Siren intermedia intermediaGoin, 1942, Ann. Carnegie Mus., 29: 211.

Siren intermedia nettingi Goin, 1942, Ann. Carnegie Mus., 29: 211. Holotype: CM 7580, by original designation. Type locality: "Imboden, Lawrence County, Arkansas", USA.

Siren intermedia texana Goin, 1957, Herpetologica, 13: 37. Holotype: TCWC 10567, by original designation. Type locality: "Texas, Cameron County, seven miles north of Brownsville", USA. Distinctiveness from Siren intermedia nettingi challenged by Flores-Villela and Brandon, 1992, Ann. Carnegie Mus., 61: 289-291.

Siren texanaDixon, 2000, Amph. Rept. Texas, Ed. 2: 51. See comment about the application of this name to a population otherwise suggested to be in the Siren lacertina group. 

Siren nettingi Raffaëlli, 2013, Urodeles du Monde, 2nd ed.: 41. See comment. 

Siren texana — Raffaëlli, 2013, Urodeles du Monde, 2nd ed.: 41. See comment. 

English Names

Intermediate Siren (Gray, 1831, in Cuvier, Animal Kingdom (Griffith), 9—Appendix: 108).

Dwarf Siren (Siren intermedia: Schmidt, 1953, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept., Ed. 6: 14–15).

Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia: Conant, Cagle, Goin, Lowe, Neill, Netting, Schmidt, Shaw, Stebbins, and Bogert, 1956, Copeia, 1956: 175; Conant, 1975, Field Guide Rept. Amph. E. Cent. N. Am., Ed. 2: 247; Collins, Huheey, Knight, and Smith, 1978, Herpetol. Circ., 7: 9; Liner, 1994, Herpetol. Circ., 23: 15; Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 36; Collins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 9; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 22; Liner and Casas-Andreu, 2008, Herpetol. Circ., 38: 35; Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 16; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 31).

Dwarf Siren (Siren intermedia intermedia: Schmidt, 1953, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept., Ed. 6: 14–15).

Eastern Dwarf Siren (Siren intermedia intermedia: Bishop, 1943, Handb. Salamanders: 458; Schmidt, 1953, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept., Ed. 6: 14–15; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 31).

Eastern Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia intermedia: Conant, Cagle, Goin, Lowe, Neill, Netting, Schmidt, Shaw, Stebbins, and Bogert, 1956, Copeia, 1956: 175; Conant, 1975, Field Guide Rept. Amph. E. Cent. N. Am., Ed. 2: 248; Collins, Huheey, Knight, and Smith, 1978, Herpetol. Circ., 7: 9; Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 36; Collins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 10; Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 30; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 22; Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 16; Highton, Bonett, and Jockusch, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 34).

Texas Dwarf Siren (Siren intermedia nettingi: Bishop, 1943, Handb. Salamanders: 461).

Two-legged Eel (Siren intermedia: Viosca, 1949, Pop. Sci. Bull., Louisiana Acad. Sci., 1: 10).

Leconte's Mud-Eel (Siren intermedia: Carr, 1940, Univ. Florida Biol. Sci. Ser., 3: 51).

Netting's Dwarf Siren (Siren intermedia nettingi: Schmidt, 1953, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept., Ed. 6: 15),

Western Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia nettingi: Conant, Cagle, Goin, Lowe, Neill, Netting, Schmidt, Shaw, Stebbins, and Bogert, 1956, Copeia, 1956: 175; Conant, 1975, Field Guide Rept. Amph. E. Cent. N. Am., Ed. 2: 248; Collins, Huheey, Knight, and Smith, 1978, Herpetol. Circ., 7: 9; Liner, 1994, Herpetol. Circ., 23: 15; Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 36; Collins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 10; Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 30; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 22; Liner and Casas-Andreu, 2008, Herpetol. Circ., 38: 35; Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 16; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 31; Highton, Bonett, and Jockusch, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 34).

Rio Grande Siren (Siren intermedia texana [no longer recognized]: Conant, 1975, Field Guide Rept. Amph. E. Cent. N. Am., Ed. 2: 248).

Rio Grande Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia texana [no longer recognized]: Collins, Huheey, Knight, and Smith, 1978, Herpetol. Circ., 7: 9; Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 36).

Distribution

Coastal Plain from eastern Virginia to central Florida, southern Georgia and southern Alabama, then north in the drainage of the Mississippi River toeastern Missouri, central Illinois, western Indiana, western Kentucky, and western Tennessee; northeastern Tamaulipas (Mexico) north through East Texas to southeastern Oklahoma and central Arkansas; isolated populations in southwestern Michigan (USA) and north-central Veracruz, Mexico.

Comment

Reviewed by Martof, 1973, Cat. Am. Amph. Rept., 127: 1–3. Author frequently cited incorrectly as "LeConte, 1827, J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, (1)5: 322; authorships and date of publication discussed by Smith, Smith, and Salvin, 1975, Great Basin Nat., 35: 100–102. Highton, Tilley, and Wake In Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 30, noted that because of the expected extreme drainage loyalty in this species that careful evaluation of geographic variation is warranted inasmuch as cryptic species could exist. The taxonomic status of the sirens in South Texas is controversial. Flores-Villela and Brandon, 1992, Ann. Carnegie Mus., 61: 289–291, examined the holotype of Siren intermedia texana and considered it indistinguishable from Siren intermedia nettingi. There are, according to these authors, two kinds of sirens in the lower Rio Grande Valley, a Siren intermedia type (to which the name texana applies if recognize) and a larger Siren lacertina type (which Flores-Villela and Brandon, 1992, Ann. Carnegie Mus., 61: 289–291, referred tentatively to Siren lacertina, otherwise found only in Florida). Dixon, 2000, Amph. Rept. Texas, Ed. 2: 51–52, used the name Siren texana for the large Lower Rio Grande form, citing as evidence that Flores-Villela and Brandon, 1992, Ann. Carnegie Mus., 61: 289–291, might be wrong about the large South Texas Siren being Siren lacertina and a personal communication from Paul Moler regarding unpublished data on blood proteins, although no evidence was presented to counter the identification of the holotype of Siren intermedia texana being a Siren intermedia-type animal, nor evidence to substantiate that the blood protein data was derived from the South Texas large form (Siren lacertina type) rather than the South Texas small form (Siren intermedia type). Mecham and Mitchell, 1983, Herpetol. Rev., 14: 55, discussed the Mexican range. Petranka, 1998, Salamand. U.S. Canada: 484–489, provided a personal communication from Paul Moler that preliminary allozyme evidence suggested multiple species within this complex; Petranka however continued to recognize subspecies (including texana which had been placed in the synonymy of nettingi by Flores and Brandon in 1992) and provided an account and map that suggests that the intergrade zones betwen subspecies are quite broad. Mecham and Mitchell, 1983, Herpetol. Rev., 14: 55, provided a record in Tamaulipas (9.5 miles north of Tejon), Mexico. Leja, 2005, in Lannoo (ed.), Amph. Declines: 910–912, provided a detailed account that summarized the biology and conservation literature, but also provided a map that suggested that he did not accept texana as a race of Siren intermedia. See brief accounts by Raffaëlli, 2013, Urodeles du Monde, 2nd ed.: 41–43, recognized Siren intermedia texana and Siren intermedia nettingi as species distinct from Siren intermedia intermedia, but the evidence for this is unclear and the included map, which shows wide allopatry among the nominal species does not correspond with the map provided by Martof, 1973, Cat. Am. Amph. Rept., 127: 1–3, which shows the ranges of Siren intermedia intermedia and Siren intermedia nettingi to be confluent and broadly intergrading and, although the range of Siren intermedia texana is given as allopatric, Martof notes (as did Goin, 1957, Herpetologica, 13: 37–42, Raun and Gehlbach, 1972, Dallas Mus. Nat. Hist. Bull., 2: 1-66, and Flores-Villela and Brandon, 1992, Ann. Carnegie Mus., 61: 289–291) that diagnostic intergradation occurs broadly. So, although DRF expects Siren intermedia (sensu lato) to be redlimited in the future as data are applied, at this point recognition of species within Siren intermedia (sensu lato) looks to be typological. Altig and McDiarmid, 2015, Handb. Larval Amph. US and Canada: 139–140, provided an account of larval morphology and biology. See account of biology and life history in southern Florida by Meshaka and Lane, 2015, Herpetol. Conserv. Biol., 10 (Monogr. 5): 17–18.

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