Amphibian Cover Board Monitoring Detects Possible Case of Scoliosis in Red-backed Salamander

A possible case of scoliosis was observed in this red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus).
The dimensions of the cells on our data sheet are 10 mm x 17 mm.
The defomity I am pointing out is the curviture along the body length.
There is a Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) needle stuck to the tail.  
We monitored Amphibian Cover Boards and observed a total of 56 red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) and 9 red eft stage of red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens).  This project consists of a total of 19 cover board grids located in suitable habitat for monitoring the blue-spotted x Jefferson Salamander hybrid (Ambystoma laterale x jeffersonianum) population on the property.  We observed one red-back salamander that displayed a deformity that could be a possible case of scoliosis.  I credit Brian Kleinman, Herpitologist at Riverside Reptiles, for suggesting this as a possible case of the deformity.  Although this is the first observation that we have recorded for the property, we'll continue monitoring our amphibian population to detect the frequency of this deformity.  The individual we observed displayed a full range of motion and speed so at first glance this deformity did not appear to affect the animal negatively.  The animal was living is a mesic forest dominated by Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), which was surrounded by shrubby and herbaceous wetlands.

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