Muralla Worm Salamander
Species Description: McCranie JR, Vieites DR, Wake DB 2008 Description of a new divergent lineage and three new species of Honduran salamanders of the genus Oedipina (Caudata, Plethodontidae). Zootaxa 1930:1-17.
© 2010 Josiah H. Townsend (1 of 1)
Diagnosis: A small-sized Oedipina (maximum size 46.8 mm SL), with with phylogenetically distinct mitochondrial haplotypes and a tail that is rectangular in cross-section through nearly its entire length (vs. nearly round for most or all of the tail length, in the Costa Rican species O. cyclocauda, with which O. quadra was previously confused). Distinguished from O. quadra (also previously confused with O. cyclocauda) by the presence of silver white dorsolateral spots and flecks in life (vs. absent in O. quadra), and by having a lower number of maxillary teeth and a shorter SL. Distinguished from O. leptopoda (also previously confused with O. cyclocauda) by more defined digits and by an inferred smaller size. Distinguished from all other described Honduran species of the subgenus Oedipina (O. ignea, O. stuarti, O. taylori) as follows: from O. ignea by its smaller size and a nearly rectangular tail; from O. stuarti by its smaller size and by the absence of pale brown to dirty white small glandular spots on the head and body (present in O. stuarti); from O. taylori by having maxillary teeth, 19-20 costal grooves and by its smaller size. Distinguished from all described Honduran species in the subgenus Oedipinola (O. elongata, O. gephyra, O. tomasi) by having 19–20 costal grooves (McCranie et al. 2008).
Description: The standard length (SL) of 3 male specimens ranges from 35.7-37.5 mm, with an average of 36.8 mm SL; females measure 33.0-46.8 mm in SL, and average 40.6 mm in SL. The male holotype has a TL of at least 117.9 mm (tip of tail was removed for tissue sample). The head is small and dorsally flattened, with a rounded snout. The eyes and nostrils are small. Nasolabial protuberances are inconspicuous in females and only weakly developed in males. The suborbital groove does not cross the lip line. Males have 1-2 enlarged premaxillary teeth that are located anteriorly, away from the maxillary teeth near the lip, whereas females have 4-5 premaxillary teeth that lie well within the mouth and in line with the maxillary teeth. Maxillary teeth average 33.3 (range 26-38) in males and 34.3 (30-38) in females. Vomerine teeth 12.3 (10-15) in males and 17.3 (16-18) in females; the vomerine teeth are in an arched series. This species has 19-20 costal grooves between the limbs and a limb interval of 13 in males and 10.5-13.0 in females. The limbs are narrow and long. Digits 1 and 2 of the forelimbs are fused as well as digits 4 and 3, leaving 1.0-1.5 phalanges of digit 3 free between digits 2 and 3. On the hind limbs, digits 1 and 2, and digits 5 and 4 are fused; digit 3 is free to move on both sides for 1.5-2.0 phalanges. The length of digits on the forelimbs in decreasing order is 3>2>4>1; on the himd limbs is 3>2>4>5>1. Protruding digital tips are all rounded and bear weak subdigital pads. The tail is long compared to SVL and is rectangular in cross section for two-thirds of its length. It tapers off at one-third its length from the distal end (McCranie et al. 2008).
In life, males and females have different coloration. The male has a grayish brown dorsum and a lighter brown head. Male dorsolateral surfaces are flecked with silver-white dots. Male ventral and subcaudal surfaces are pale grayish brown like the head. In contrast, the female is jet black on all dorsal surfaces, with a more pale black head. Female dorsolateral surfaces are scattered with numerous olive-green and white flecks. Female ventral and subcaudal surfaces are dark neutral gray and the chin is pale gray. Irises are black (McCranie and Wilson 2002).
In preservative, the male holotype is medium brown on dorsal and lateral surfaces of the head, with a grayish tinge on the body and tail. White spots are scattered over the lateral surfaces. Costal grooves are pale brown. Ventral surfaces are also brown like the dorsal surfaces but paler. Palmar and plantar surfaces are pale brown to cream. Pale brown iridophores are visible under magnification and are distributed over the body except for the soles of the feet (McCranie et al. 2008).
Distribution and Habitat
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Trends and Threats
Species authority: McCranie et al. (2008).
Etymology: The specific name kasios is the Greek word meaning "sister," referring to O. kasios being the sister species of O. quadra in phylogenetic analyses (McCranie et al. 2008).
McCranie, J. R., Vieites, D. R., and Wake, D. B. (2008). ''Description of a new divergent lineage and three new species of Honduran salamanders of the genus Oedipina (Caudata, Plethodontidae).'' Zootaxa, 1930, 1-17.
McCranie, J. R., and Wilson, L. D. (2002). ''The Amphibians of Honduras.'' Contributions to Herpetology, Vol 19. K. Adler and T. D. Perry, eds., Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York.
Written by Christine Lu (karomi AT berkeley.edu), UC Berkeley
First submitted 2009-10-13
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2011-10-05)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2011 Oedipina kasios: Muralla Worm Salamander <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/7209> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 27, 2017.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2017. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 27 Mar 2017.
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