AmphibiaWeb - Plethodon idahoensis


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Plethodon idahoensis Slater & Slipp, 1940
Coeur d'Alene Salamander
Subgenus: Hightonia
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Plethodontinae
genus: Plethodon
Plethodon idahoensis
© 2004 William Leonard (1 of 3)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
NatureServe Use NatureServe Explorer to see status.
National Status None
Regional Status None
conservation needs Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .


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Plethodon idahoensis is a darkly colored salamander distinguished by a paler dorsal strip of color. The stripe ranges can be a range of different colors, from yellow to green, orange, or red. A yellow patchis usually present at the throat of most individuals, and additional light flecks of color extend along the sides and limbs. The limbs end in slightly webbed toes. On average, adult P. idahoensis are 45 mm SVL (Wilson and Ohanjanian 2002).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Canada, United States

U.S. state distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Idaho, Montana

Canadian province distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: British Columbia

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Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: United States Plethodon idahoensis is the only known member of the plethodontid genus in the northern Rocky Mountains. Originally discovered in Kootenai County, Idaho, in the Northeast part of Coeur d'Alene Lake, this species prefers damp, rocky habitats, such as streams and seepages in temperate mesophytic forests. These habitats are found along the Selway River in Idaho and the Bitterroot River in Montana in the south, and the Duncan and Columbia Rivers in the southeast of British Columbia in the north. Although the range of P. idahoensis includes parts of Canada, this distribution has not been adequetly recorded (Wilson and Ohanjanian 2002).


Plethodon idahoensis refers specifically to the state of Idaho, where the type locality was discovered (Wilson and Ohanjanian, 2002).

Although it was originally documented as a distinct species (Slater and Slipp 1940), later literature claimed that Plethodon idahoensis was a subspecies (Lowe 1950) or unnamed geographical group (Brodie 1970) of Plethodon vandykei. Within the past few years, however, research has supported Slater and Slipp's original claim (Howard Seeb and Wallace). Before 1990, however, this species was referred to as P. vandykei idahoensis or P. vandykei, as well as P. idahoensis (Wilson and Ohanjanian 2002).


Brodie, E. D., Jr. (1970). "Western salamanders of the genus Plethodon: Systematics and geographic variation." Herpetologica, 26(4), 468-516.

Howard, J. H., Seeb, L. W., and R. L. Wallace (1993). "Genetic variation and population divergence in the Plethodon vandykei group (Caudata: Plethodondidae)." Herpetologica, 49, 238-247.

Lowe, C. H., Jr. (1950). ''The systematic status of the salamanders Plethodon hardii with a discussion of biogeographical problems in Aneides.'' Copeia, 1950, 92-99.

Slater, J. R., and Slipp, J. W. (1940). ''A new species of Plethodon from northern Idaho.'' Occasional Papers Department of Biology University of Puget Sound, (8), 38-43.

Wilson, A.G., Jr., and Ohanjanian, P. (2002). ''Plethodon idahoensis.'' Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, 741.1-741.4.

Originally submitted by: Elizabeth Reisman (first posted 2001-05-31)
Edited by: Tate Tunstall (2004-03-02)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2004 Plethodon idahoensis: Coeur d'Alene Salamander <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 14, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 14 Jul 2024.

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