Bolitoglossa celaque
Celaque climbing salamander
Subgenus: Magnadigita
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Hemidactyliinae

© 2015 Michael W. Itgen (1 of 3)

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Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Endangered (EN)
See IUCN account.
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None


Description: Bolitoglossa celaque is a medium-sized member of the Bolitoglossa dunni clade. The average snout to vent length is 49.6 mm for an adult male and 50.6 mm for an adult female. The average total length for an adult is 93.3 mm for a male and 91.6 mm for a female (Greenbaum 2004). Adults typically have a narrow head, with a distinct groove that extends below the eye.An average of 50 maxillary teeth and 21 vomerine teeth are found in males, while females have an average of 48 maxillary teeth and 22 vomerine teeth. Vomerine teeth are long with a single arch and extend just past the middle of the internal nares (McCranie and Wilson 1993). Adults have fairly long and slender limbs and a relatively long, laterally compressed tail with a basal constriction. B. celaque has feet with paedomorphic webbing, though its longest toes usually have two un-webbed phalanges (McCranie and Wilson 1993).

Coloration: Dorsal coloration is russet with small gold flecks, while subcaudal coloration ranges from a pale yellow to dark orange with gray, silver, or orange speckling. Throat color varies from pale yellow to orange. Iris color is an iridescent copper sometimes with gold flecks (Greenbaum 2004; McCranie and Wilson 1993).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Honduras

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B. celaque is only known from the Cordilleras Celaque, Opalaca, and Montecillos in southern Honduras. This salamander inhabits the lower montane moist forest belt (classification by Holdridge 1967) on the eastern and west slopes at about 1930-2620 m elevation. B. celaque has been collected from wet moss mats on the ground, on tree trunks, and in terrestrial and arboreal bromeliads. At night, the salamander has been found on leaves and rocks alongside streams (McCranie and Wilson 1993).

Trends and Threats
Possible threats to this species include human alteration of habitat, habitat destruction due to subsistence agriculture and forest fires, and changes in environmental regimes, due to climate change (Wilson and McCranie 2003). B. celaque is considered a species at high risk due to its narrow geographic distribution, strict habitat requirements, and sensitive reproductive mode.

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Climate change, increased UVB or increased sensitivity to it, etc.

The species was first described by McCranie and Wilson (1993).

B. celaque is named for Cerro Celaque, the highest mountain in Honduras, on which the species is found. The name celaque most likely is derived from the Aztec word celac, which means “in the cold waters” (McCranie and Wilson 1993). This salamander was previously considered to be a variant of the species B. dunni (Greenbaum 2004).

Parra-Olea and his colleagues completed a phylogenetic analysis of 55 Bolitoglossa specimens to determine the phylogenetic relationships among species. B. celaque is the sister species to B. synoria, and both species are in the B. dunni group, in the subgenus Magnadigita (Parra-Olea et al 2004).


Frost, D. (2011). Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.5.

Green, D.M., and P. Alberch (1981). ''Interdigital webbing and skin morphology in the Neotropical salamander genus Bolitoglossa (Amphibia, Plethodontidae). .'' Journal of Morphology , (170), 273-282.

Greenbaum, E. (2004). ''A new species of Bolitoglossa (Amphibia: Caudata: Plethodontidae) from montane forests in Guatemala and El Salvador.'' Journal of Herpetology, 38, 411-421.

Hanken, J. and Wake, D. B. (1982). ''Genetic differentiation among plethodontid salamanders (genus Bolitoglossa in Central and South America: implications for the South American invasion .'' Herpetologica, 38, 272-287.

McCranie, J. R., and Wilson, L. D. (1993). ''A review of the Bolitoglossa dunni group (Amphibia: Caudata) from Honduras with the description of three new species.'' Herpetologica, 49, 1-15.

McCranie, J.R., and L.D. Wilson (1995). ''A new species of salamander of the Bolitoglossa dunni group (Caudata: Plethodontidae) from northern Honduras.'' Herpetologica, 51(2), 131-140.

Parra-Olea, G., García-París, M., and Wake, D. B. (2004). ''Molecular diversification of salamanders of the tropical American genus Bolitoglossa (Caudata: Plethodontidae) and its evolutionary and biogeographical implications.'' Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 81, 325-346.

Wilson, L.D., G. Cruz, J.R. McCranie, F. Castañeda (2008). Bolitoglossa celaque. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. Downloaded on 29 April 2011.

Wilson, L.D., and J.R. McCranie (2003). ''Conservation status of the herpetofauna of Honduras.'' Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, 3(1), 6-33.

Wilson, L.D., and J.R. McCranie (2003). ''Herpetofaunal indicators species as measures of environmental stability in Honduras.'' Caribbean Journal of Science, 39(1), 50-67.

Written by Rebecca Koch (rebeccabethkoch AT, UC Davis
First submitted 2011-04-20
Edited by Brent Nguyen (2012-03-24)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2012 Bolitoglossa celaque: Celaque climbing salamander <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 27, 2017.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2017. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 27 Mar 2017.

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