Scientific Publications from the Virginia Museum of Natural History
by Richard Highton
published 15 October 2004
Plethodon sherando is described from the Big Levels area of Augusta Co., Virginia. It differs from P. cinereus in details of coloration, in having longer legs and fewer vertebrae, as well as in several allozyme values. A preliminary analysis of allozyme variation indicates it also differs genetically from the other species of the P. cinereusgroup. It is known to occur at elevations between 579-1091 m in a small area of <100 km2 in the vicinity of Big Levels, Augusta County, Virginia. Within most of its known range, P. sherando is the only eastern small Plethodon present, but at lower elevations it has been taken sympatrically with P. cinereus at five sites. A transect through the overlap zone between the two species near Stony Creek indicates that the altitudinal overlap is at least 46 m. The geographic distance between the highest and lowest sympatric populations in the overlap zone is at least 0.7 km. Since no F1 hybrids were found, apparently the two species do not hybridize frequently, although rare introgression may occur.