Plethodon aureolus Highton, 1984

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

Plethodon aureolus Highton, 1984 "1983", Brimleyana, 9: 2. Holotype: USNM 238341, by original designation. Type locality: "Farr Gap, Unicoi Mountains, Monroe County, Tennessee", USA.

Plethodon (Plethodon) aureolusVieites, Nieto-Roman, Wake, and Wake, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 59: 632, by implication.

English Names

Tellico Salamander (Highton in Highton, Maha, and Maxson, 1989, Illinois Biol. Monogr., 57: 75; Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 32; Collins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 8; Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 26; Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 13; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 29; Highton, Bonett, and Jockusch, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 31; Highton, Bonett, and Jockusch, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 31).


Region of the type locality in southeastern Tennessee and adjacent North Carolina, USA, 260 to 1500 m elevation.

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: United States of America, United States of America - North Carolina, United States of America - Tennessee

Endemic: United States of America


In the Plethodon glutinosus group according to the original publication. See accounts by Highton, 1986, Cat. Am. Amph. Rept., 381: 1, and Petranka, 1998, Salamand. U.S. Canada: 332–333. Fisher-Reid and Wiens, 2011, BMC Evol. Biol., 11 (300): 1–20, also presented topological evidence that nominal Plethodon aureolus is neither one species nor a monophyletic group, with one lineage more closely related to one population of Plethodon glutinosus, and yet another closer to another population of Plethodon glutinosus. Beamer and Lannoo, 2005, in Lannoo (ed.), Amph. Declines: 791–792, provided a detailed account that summarized the biology and conservation literature.  Highton, Hastings, Palmer, Watts, Hass, Culver, and Arnold, 2012, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 63: 278–290, noted that Plethodon aureolus is dissimilar from Plethodon glutinosus in allozymes, but very similar in terms of 12s mtDNA. Raffaëlli, 2013, Urodeles du Monde, 2nd ed.: 401, provided a brief account, photograph, and range map. Raffaëlli, 2022, Salamanders & Newts of the World: 923–924, provided an account summarizing systematics, morphology, life history, population status, and distribution (including a polygon map). 

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