Plethodon punctatus Highton, 1972

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

Plethodon punctatus Highton, 1972 "1971", Res. Div. Monogr. Virginia Polytech. Inst. State Univ., 4: 176. Holotype: USNM 190224, by original designation. Type locality: "between 0.1 and 0. 2 mile north-northwest of the top of Cow Knob, Pendleton County, West Virginia state line", USA.

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

English Names

Cow Knob Salamander (Conant, 1975, Field Guide Rept. Amph. E. Cent. N. Am., Ed. 2: 278; Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 28; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 30; Highton, Bonett, and Jockusch, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 32).

White-spotted Salamander (Collins, Huheey, Knight, and Smith, 1978, Herpetol. Circ., 7: 8; Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 33; Collins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 9; Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 14).


Higher elevations (over 1000 m) on Shenandoah Mountain in Pendleton County, West Virginia, and Augusta and Rockingham counties, Virginia, and on North Mountain (over 900 m), Hardy County, West Virginia, and Shenandoah County, Virginia, USA.


In the Plethodon wehrlei group of Highton and Larson, 1979, Syst. Zool., 28: 579–599. See accounts by Highton, 1988, Cat. Am. Amph. Rept., 414: 1–2, and Petranka, 1998, Salamand. U.S. Canada: 390–392. Mitchell and Pauley, 2005, in Lannoo (ed.), Amph. Declines: 834–835, provided a detailed account that summarized the biology and conservation literature. See statement of geographic range, habitat, and conservation status in Stuart, Hoffmann, Chanson, Cox, Berridge, Ramani, and Young, 2008, Threatened Amph. World: 640. Raffaëlli, 2013, Urodeles du Monde, 2nd ed.: 395, provided a brief account, photograph, and range map.  Kuchta, Brown, and Highton, 2018, Zool. Scripta, 47: 285–299, demonstrated that this taxon is phylogenetially imbedded within Plethodon wehrlei. See also discussion by Felix, Wooten, Pierson, and Camp, 2019, Zootaxa, 4609: 429–448, who discussed this species and partitioned Plethodon wehrlei to correct this problem. 

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