© 2008 James Hanken (1 of 2)
In life, it is brown (Savage 2002) or black (Wake et al. 1973) with red or orange markings on the dorsal surface (blotches, indistinct paired dorsolateral stripes, or a mid-dorsal field). The venter is a uniform brown. The iris is pale brown (Savage 2002).
In preservative, the dorsum and venter are black with orange to yellowish markings. The ventral surface is almost as dark as the dorsal surface and it is very uniform. A few large orange splotches are seen near the base of the tail, along with some spots on the top of the head and behind the eyes. The eyelids are black and orange, mottled. The limbs are black with one small lighter spot on the left hind limb above the ankle (on the holotype). The palms are graym (Wake et al. 1973).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Costa Rica, Panama
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
An adult female (84.7 mm SVL) was collected from under a log on the southern slope of Cerro Respingo, at 2,710 m asl. In captivity, this female deposited a clutch of 39 eggs, as a clump (typical of Bolitoglossa species). Parental care was not evident; after one day, the female did not show signs of attempting to brood or disturb the eggs in any way. Eggs were removed to a moistened paper towel in a petri dish and kept at 13 degrees C, closely approximating the temperature of 11.8 degrees C at the locality of capture, and the mean temperature reported for Bolitoglossa subpalmata nest sites at comparable elevations in Costa Rica (12.8 degrees C at 2,300-3,200 m asl). About two to three weeks after oviposition, fungal mycelia were observed on the clutch, and subsequently the eggs were washed in 0.5% hydrogen peroxide every 2-4 days until hatching. Eggs/embryos were preserved when it appeared certain that the embryos had stopped developing. Two embryos hatched at 249 and 251 days after oviposition, with a total development time of 8.1 months. Growth appeared to stop at about eight weeks, when the hatchlings did not change in total length; the juveniles were then preserved (Hanken 1979).
The time to hatching (over 8 months for B. compacta) is relatively long compared to other salamanders. However, it follows the general pattern of longer development for neotropical vs. temperate salamanders.For the direct-developing temperate salamanaders Plethodon vehiculum and Batrachoseps attenuatus, development time is 2 months, and for the direct-developing Ensatina eschscholtzii, development takes 4 months. For direct-developing Neotropical salamanders, development has been inferred to be 4-5 months for Bolitoglossa subpalmata and 5-6 months for B. rostrata (Hanken 1979).
Trends and Threats
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
A Spanish-language species account can be found at the website of Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio).
Hanken, J. (1979). ''Egg development time and clutch size in two neotropical salamanders.'' Copeia, 1979(4), 741-744.
Ibañez, R., Solís, F., Jaramillo, C. and Rand, S. (2000). ''An overview of the herpetology of Panama.'' Mesoamerican Herpetology: Systematics, Zoogeography and Conservation. Johnson, J. D., Webb, R. G. and Flores-Villela, O. A., eds., The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas, 159-170.
Lips, K. R. (1993). ''Bolitoglossa compacta (NCN).'' Herpetological Review, 24, 107.
Savage, J. M. (2002). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Solís, F., Ibáñez, R., Wake, D., Savage, J., Chaves, G., and Bolaños, F. 2008. Bolitoglossa compacta. In: IUCN 2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 09 November 2009.
Wake, D. B., Brame, A. H. and Duellman, W. E. (1973). ''New species of salamanders, genus Bolitoglossa, from Panama.'' Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County - Contributions in Science, 248, 1-19.
Wake, D. B., Brame, A. H., and Duellman, W. E. (1970). ''Bolitoglossa compacta, new species.'' Contributions in Science, (248), 12 - 19.
Written by Mae Huo (mxhuo AT berkeley.edu), University of California, Berkeley
First submitted 2009-11-04
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2010-04-08)
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