Genetic Variation of the Grotto Salamander, Typhlotriton Spelaeus in Missouri

Date of Graduation

Fall 1999


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Lynn Robbins


The Ozark Plateau is home to several species of plethodontid salamanders. A previous study has shown that members of a population of Typhlotriton spelaeus from Webster Co., Missouri show a high degree of genetic similarity with members of the genus Eurycea, particularly Eurycea tynerensis. In this study, Typhlotriton spelaeus collected from one location in Webster Co., Missouri was used as the outgroup. Following genetic analysis, T. spelaeus occupied an intermediate position on the phenogram that was produced based on the genetic analysis. My research goal was to determine if the Webster County population used as the outgroup was representative of the entire species throughout its range in Missouri. Samples were collected from 9 localities in southern Missouri. Genetic analysis showed that all populations were monomorphic, there was no genetic variation within cave populations or among cave populations. Based on this research, combined with the results of the previous study provides support to sink the genus Typhlotriton and subsume it with Eurycea.

Subject Categories



© Timothy James Miller