Woody and arboreal habitats of the Green Salamander (Aneides aeneus) in the Blue Ridge Mountains
The green salamander (Aneides aeneus) is primarily considered a rock crevice dwelling species. However, many early observations from Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia report A. aeneus taken from woody and arboreal habitats. There have been only four published records of A. aeneus using such habitats within the Blue Ridge Disjunct population of southwest North Carolina, northeast Georgia, and northwest South Carolina, and no records since 1952. Here I report two personal observations of A. aeneus using arboreal habitats in North Carolina. Additionally, I report nine observations, made by others, of A. aeneus using woody, arboreal, or otherwise non-rock-crevice habitats in North and South Carolina, including the first non-rock-crevice A. aeneus nesting record for the Blue Ridge. I also speculate that woody and arboreal habitats play a much larger role in the life-history of A. aeneus than generally thought, and that the rarity of A. aeneus is linked to the loss of American Chestnut and old-growth forests.
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