Plethodon serratus Grobman, 1944

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

Plethodon cinereus serratus Grobman, 1944, Ann. New York Acad. Sci., 45: 306. Holotype: FMNH 39464, by original designation. Type locality: "Rich Mountain, Polk County, Arkansas [USA], at an altitude of 2500 feet".

Plethodon cinereus polycentratus Highton and Grobman, 1956, Herpetologica, 12: 185. Holotype: UF 8376, by original designation. Type locality: "2 miles northeast of Palmetto, Fulton County, Georgia", USA. Synonymy by Highton and Webster, 1976, Evolution, 30: 42.

Plethodon serratusHighton and Webster, 1976, Evolution, 30: 40.

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

English Names

Ouachita Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon serratus: Schmidt, 1953, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept., Ed. 6: 34; 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: 273).

Southern Redback Salamander (Plethodon serratus: 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).

Southern Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon serratus: 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).

Georgia Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus polycentratus [no longer recognized]: Conant, 1958, Field Guide Rept. Amph. E. Cent. N. Am.: 230; Conant, 1975, Field Guide Rept. Amph. E. Cent. N. Am., Ed. 2: 273).


Widely disjunct populations: central Louisiana; the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma; central and southeastern Missouri (excluding the boot heel); southeastern Tennessee, southwestern North Carolina, and west-central Georgia and adjacent eastern Alabama, USA; one old record from Fern Lake, Nacogdoches County, East Texas, USA, but not recollected there in over 70 years. 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: United States of America, United States of America - Alabama, United States of America - Arkansas, United States of America - Georgia, United States of America - Louisiana, United States of America - Missouri, United States of America - North Carolina, United States of America - Oklahoma, United States of America - Tennessee, United States of America - Texas

Endemic: United States of America


In the Plethodon cinereus group of Highton and Larson, 1979, Syst. Zool., 28: 579–599. See accounts by Petranka, 1998, Salamand. U.S. Canada: 395–397, and Highton, 1986, Cat. Am. Amph. Rept., 394: 1–2. Dixon, 2000, Amph. Rept. Texas, Ed. 2: 58, discussed the old Texas record. Beamer and Lannoo, 2005, in Lannoo (ed.), Amph. Declines: 838–840, provided a detailed account that summarized the biology and conservation literature. Raffaëlli, 2013, Urodeles du Monde, 2nd ed.: 389, provided a brief account, photograph, and range map. Newman and Austin, 2015, PLoS One, 10(7: e0130131): 1–19, and Thesing, Noyes, Starkey, and Shepard, 2016, Evol. Ecol., 30: 89–104, reported on Pleistocene climatic fluxuations and complex phylogeographic structure within the species and among the five geographic isolates. Shew and Holt, 2018, Herpetol. Rev., 49: 281, provided the second record from Alabama, USA, from DeKalb County. Raffaëlli, 2022, Salamanders & Newts of the World: 891–893, provided an account summarizing systematics (enumerating at least five unnamed species in the complex) morphology, life history, population status, and distribution (including a polygon map). 

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