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1 March 2007 Diurnal Seasonal Activity of Cryptobranchus alleganiensis (Hellbender) in North Carolina
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Cryptobranchus alleganiensis (Hellbenders) are primarily nocturnal salamanders, emerging at night from their daytime rock retreats. Most populations exhibit infrequent diurnal activity, mainly during the breeding season or during overcast or rainy days. This paper reports on a population of Hellbenders from Transylvania County, NC, where 148 observations of diurnal activity were made during 51 person hours over a 3-yr period. Hellbenders were most diurnally active during the September breeding season (mean = 16.3 individuals/person hr), but also exhibited high levels of diurnal activity during summer months, especially in May (mean = 11.4 individuals/person hr). Diurnal activity was not correlated with cloud cover, water depth, or time of day when searches were conducted, but was positively correlated with water temperature. Previous literature and numerous surveys conducted by the author in other parts of the Hellbender's range suggest that this North Carolina population is unique in its diurnal activity, which is possibly related to factors such as prey availability, intraspecific competition, or predator threats.

W. Jeffrey Humphries "Diurnal Seasonal Activity of Cryptobranchus alleganiensis (Hellbender) in North Carolina," Southeastern Naturalist 6(1), 135-140, (1 March 2007).[135:DSAOCA]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 March 2007

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