Nicaraguan Highland Worm Salamander
Species Description: Sunyer J, Wake DB, Townsend JH, Travers SL, Rovito SM, Papenfuss TJ, Obando LA, Koehler G 2010 A new species of worm salamander (Caudata: Plethdontidae: Oedipina) in the subgenus Oeditriton from the highlands of northern Nicaragua. Zootaxa 2613:29-39.
© 2012 Javier Sunyer (1 of 7)
Oedipina nica can be distinguished from the two other species in the subgenus Oeditriton (both from Honduras), O. kasios and O. quadra, by having a more slender habitus and fewer vomerine teeth, and from other Nicaraguan Oedipina as follows: from O. collaris by being much smaller and more slender, having short limbs and narrow manus and pes, and having a short, rather bluntly tipped snout; from O. cyclocauda by being smaller and more slender without nearly pad-like feet; from O. pseudouniformis by being more slender with shorter, less robust limbs and narrower manus and pes, and by having almost uniformly dark brownish-black coloration with no distinct light pigmentation on the upper parts of the proximal segment of the limbs (Sunyer et al. 2010).
Dorsal and lateral surfaces of the head, body, limbs, and tail are generally a uniform dark brownish-black. Some individuals have faded brown on the dorsal and lateral surfaces or anterior and lateral surfaces of the head. Costal grooves on the body and tail are the same color as the body or slightly lighter dark gray, but appear prominent since pigment is lacking in the deepest part of the groove. Ventral surfaces of the head, body, limbs, and tail are slightly paler black than the dorsal surfaces. Scattered, obscure tiny white speckles are most visible behind the eye and over the shoulder, proceeding in an irregular, narrow line along the dorsolateral part of the body to the hind limbs. White spots are slightly larger ventrally on the gular and chest areas. Nasolabial protuberances are unpigmented and contrast with the surrounding tissue (Sunyer et al. 2010).
The single known juvenile (UF 156454) is jet black on the dorsal and lateral surfaces of body, head, limbs, and tail, with tiny faint dirty white flecks along the dorsum of head, body, and tail resulting in a somewhat ashy appearance. The pale flecking is most concentrated dorsolaterally and gives the impression of an irregular dorsolateral line extending from behind the jaw to the hind limb. Flecking also occurs around the mouth and chest area, with larger white speckles irregularly scattered along the head, body, tail, and limbs (Sunyer et al. 2010).
Distribution and Habitat
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Trends and Threats
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Holdridge, L. R. (1967). Life Zone Ecology. Tropical Science Center, San Jose, Costa Rica.
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.
Sunyer, J., Wake, D. B., Townsend, J. H., Travers, S. L., Rovito, S. M., Papenfuss, T. J., and Obando, L. A. (2010). ''A new species of worm salamander (Caudata: Plethodontidae: Oedipina) in the subgenus Oeditriton from the highlands of northern Nicaragua.'' Zootaxa, 2613, 29-39.
Written by Josiah Townsend (josiahhtownsend AT gmail.com), University of Florida
First submitted 2010-10-25
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2010-11-22)
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