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The Systematic Status of Eumeces pluvialis Cope   By: (1912-)

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The Systematic Status of Eumeces pluvialis Cope, and Noteworthy Records of Other Amphibians and Reptiles From Kansas and Oklahoma


University of Kansas Publications Museum of Natural History

Volume 1, No. 2, pp. 85 89 August 15, 1946



Editors: E. Raymond Hall, Chairman, Donald S. Farner, Donald F. Hoffmeister

Volume 1, No. 2, pp. 85 89

Published August 15, 1946




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The Systematic Status of Eumeces pluvialis Cope, and Noteworthy Records of Other Amphibians and Reptiles from Kansas and Oklahoma



A number of noteworthy items have come to attention in the course of a survey of material for a handbook on the herpetology of Kansas. Some of the items, which follow, can be recorded here more appropriately than in the handbook.

=Eumeces anthracinus pluvialis= Cope

Recent material in addition to information presented in Taylor's monograph of Eumeces (Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull., 23, 1935) reveals that Eumeces anthracinus is composed of three geographically distinct populations: One occurs from western New York to northern Georgia, and west to Kentucky, in the Appalachian uplands or northward of them; a second centers about the Ozark uplands but extends into northwestern Louisiana, eastern Texas, central Oklahoma, eastern Kansas, and nearly as far east as the Mississippi river in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri; the third population occurs in extreme southern Alabama and Mississippi.

These populations differ in at least the color of the young. Specimens from the eastern area are marked at birth like the adults; those from the western area are black at birth and develop stripes as they grow older; unfortunately young specimens from the southern area are not known.

Obviously at least two races are involved, the eastern and the western. Whether the southern population belongs to one of these races or is distinct is unknown. Until this point is settled the name for the western race will remain in doubt. The eastern race is the typical one, Eumeces a. anthracinus (Baird) (Journ. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila., 1 (ser. 2):294, 1850; type locality North Mountain, Carlisle, Pennsylvania). The southern population has been named pluvialis by Cope (Ann. Rept. U. S. Nat. Mus., 74:663 664, 1900; type locality Mobile, Alabama). Unfortunately no name is available for the western population. It may either be called Eumeces anthracinus pluvialis , or be given a new name, according to the ultimate decision on its consubspecificity with the southern population. I suggest retention of the name pluvialis at least until a more careful study indicates the necessity of further change.

=Eurycea lucifuga= (Rafinesque)

On October 21, 1945, E. W. Jameson, Jr., discovered a specimen of this species in a small cave situated in a park 1 1/4 miles south of Galena, Cherokee County, Kansas, on the north side of Shoal Creek, NW 1/4 of Sec. 35, T. 35 S., R. 25 E. Later the same day Claude W. Hibbard and I returned to the same cave, and with the help of Jameson found two more specimens. All were found under stones in the twilight zone. Exploration of deeper recesses of the cave was impossible because the larger entrances to them had been closed off with cement to prevent children from entering. No water was running from the cave at the time we were there, although there was visible evidence of a previous heavy flow of water, probably in times of heavy and prolonged rains. The only other salamanders found in the limited area available for exploration belonged to Eurycea longicauda melanopleura (Cope), a form considerably more abundant in the cave than E. lucifuga .

This constitutes the first published record of the occurrence of E. lucifuga in Kansas. Previous records from Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, as well as a sight record by Taylor (Smith, Amer. Midl. Nat., 15:382 383, 1934) have indicated its probable occurrence in Kansas.

The largest specimen obtained is an adult male measuring 166 mm. in total length; it exceeds by 2 mm. the maximum previously known. The pattern and other characters of all specimens appear typical. The specimens are in the Museum of Natural History of the University of Kansas.

=Hyla crucifer crucifer= Wied

In 1943 Bragg (Great Basin Nat., 4:67, 1943) stated that Hyla crucifer crucifer has been recorded with certainty from only one county in Oklahoma, McCurtain County in the extreme southeastern part of the state. Reports of their call being heard in Le Flore County, immediately north of McCurtain County had also been transmitted to him.

In Kansas the species is still known only from the northern half of the extreme eastern part of the state (Smith, Amer. Midl. Nat., 15:472, 1934). Between this area and southeastern Oklahoma no record of occurrence of the species has been available.

An adult specimen taken by Dr. Joseph Tihen in the extreme southeastern corner of Delaware County, Oklahoma (Mus. Nat. Hist., Univ. Kans., No. 20827), thus provides a second definite locality for the species in Oklahoma and suggests the probability that it ranges along the entire eastern border of both Kansas and Oklahoma. The specimen is in poor condition but enough of the pattern and some other features can be discerned to permit reliable identification.

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