Species Description: Wei G, Xiong J-L, Hou M, Zeng X-M 2009 A new species of hynobiid salamander (Urodela: Hynobiidae: Pseudohynobius) from southwestern China. Zootaxa 2149:62-68.
The SVL of the single male specimen measures 86.1 mm; the single female measures 76.1 mm. Pseudohynobius jinfo has a significantly longer tail length than other species in the genus Pseudohynobius, with tail length exceeding the SVL (112.6 mm in male holotype and 87.2 mm in female paratype). In addition, it has yellow dorsal spots that are small (vs. larger yellow spots or no yellow spots in other members of the genus).
The head is approximately 25% of SVL, slightly depressed in shape and longer than wide. The snout appears rounded when viewed from above. Nostrils are small and located at the tip of the snout. Eyes are large, protruding and wider than eyelids. Internarial space is wider than interorbital space. The body is stout. Twelve costal grooves are present, extending from back of head to insertion of tail. The gular fold is distinctly visible and located just ventral to a protuberance on each side of the neck. A groove runs from the back of the head to the base of the tail. Teeth are tiny and present on both maxilla and mandible. Inner and outer series of curved-in vomerine tooth rows are present, each with 8-9 teeth (vs. . Hindlimb is more robust than forelimb and slightly longer. Adpressed limbs have digit tips touching or overlapping slightly. Pseudohynobius jinfo has four fingers, 2>3>4>1 in decreasing order of length; and five toes, 3>4>2>5>1, all of which have rounded tips. Adults lack black keratinized covers on digit tips. Tail base is rounded but tip flattened and laterally compressed. Fin covers entire extent of tail except one third of anterior portion on lower side (Wei et al. 2009).
In life, the dorsal skin is purple, dotted with small yellow spots. Ventral side is pale. Flank has small yellowish spots (Wei et al. 2009).
The larvae have no eyelids. Lips are distinct. Larvae possess three pairs of external gills, with flat short gill slits. Unlike in adults, larval digits are flattened and the tips have black horny covers. Tail is shorter than SVL. Upper fin is high, arising midway through trunk, while lower fin originates at tail base. In life, the larvae are a pale flaxen (light yellow-gray or yellow-brown) with dark brown spots (Wei et al. 2009).
Distribution and Habitat
Pseudohynobius jinfo is known from two neighboring mountains, Mt. Jinfo and Mt. Baima, in Chongqing municipality of the People's Republic of China. The type locality is near the Phoenix Temple on the south slope near the summit of Mt. Jinfo. Both adults and larvae were collected at Mt. Jinfo, but only larvae have been found so far at Mt. Baima. Specimens were collected from a clear mountain pond formed by a montane spring and surrounded by grass. The pond is 5 m by 7 m and shallow (60 cm). The pond bottom was covered in silt and a few stones and leaves. Gammarids (amphipod crustaceans) were also found in the pond (Wei et al. 2009).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Adults and larvae were found in the grassy margin of the pond in daytime and in the water at night (Wei et al. 2009).
Wei, G., Xiong, J.-L., Hou, M., Zeng, X.-M. (2009). ''A new species of hynobiid salamander (Urodela: Hynobiidae: Pseudohynobius) from Southwestern China.'' Zootaxa, 2149, 62-68.
Zeng, X. M., Fu, J. Z., Chen, L. Q., Tian, Y. Z., and Chen, X. H. (2006). ''Cryptic species and systematics of the hynobiid salamanders of the Liua-Pseudohynobius complex: Molecular and phylogenetic perspectives.'' Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 34, 467-477.
Written by Christine Lu (karomi AT berkeley.edu), UC Berkeley
First submitted 2009-09-15
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2009-10-06)
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