Date of Award


Degree Name

Biological Sciences


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Thomas K. Pauley

Second Advisor

Dan K. Evans

Third Advisor

Charles Somerville


A forested ephemeral wetland in Mason County, WV, documented to contain 4 of 5 Ambystoma species found in the state, was studied to learn about population sizes, breeding cycles, and habitat use. Minnow traps were placed along three drift fences with additional traps placed throughout the study area. From February 5 to March 27, 2005, 85 captured adults were identified to species, marked by elastomer injection for mark-recapture analysis, and measured for morphometrics. Larval salamanders were identified, staged, measured, and returned. Egg clutches were mapped and counted. Mark-recapture analysis suggests the A. texanum population size is between 635 and 735 individuals (95% confidence). No other species of Ambystoma were marked though several A. opacum larvae were trapped, and three A. opacum adults were observed and measured during Fall 2005. Despite the absence of other species, this breeding habitat is crucially important to the conservation of A. texanum in West Virginia.


Salamanders - Mason County (W. Va.)

Ambystomatidae - Breeding.

Ambystomatidae - Ecology.

Ambystomatidae - Habitat.