We identified stomach contents of 80 Plethodon albagula (Western Slimy Salamander) from two mountain ranges in Arkansas (Ozark and Ouachita) to examine if regional differences in diet occur. Museum specimens from 1985 to 2005 were used from locations throughout each mountain range. Although a wide variety of prey were found in stomachs, Hymenoptera: Formicidae and Coleoptera: Carabidae were found to be the most important food items in the diet of P. albagula. Ants and beetles constituted 85% abundance of their total diet (79.6% Ozark and 90.1% Ouachita) and 52.2% of their total biomass (42.6% Ozark and 64.1% Ouachita). Seventy-eight and 87% of individuals examined from the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains, respectively, consumed ants (65% total, 83% for animals with food items in their stomachs), whereas 55% in the Ozarks and 58% in the Ouachitas consumed at least one family of beetle. Occurrence and biomass of prey items that did not include ants and beetles showed P. albagula to be a euryphagic predator, with 9.7% of diet being comprised of other prey types (27.3% biomass). Furthermore, importance values indicate ants were the most important prey item for P. albagula in both the Ozark and Ouachita samples, with carabid beetles (Ozark) and all beetles (Ouachita) being second most important. Jaccard Index indicated Ozark and Ouachita specimens shared 80% similarity in diet. Our data suggest P. albagula in Arkansas have high dependence upon ants and beetles, yet appears to be an opportunistic and euryphagic predator.
Milanovich, J. R., Trauth, S. E., & McKay, T. (2008). Diet of Western Slimy Salamander, Plethodon albagula (Caudata: Plethodontidae), from Two Mountain Ranges in Arkansas. Southeastern Naturalist, 7(2), 323-330.
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© Humboldt Field Research Institute, 2008.