AmphibiaWeb provides information on amphibian declines, natural history, conservation, and taxonomy.

Species of the Week
Plethodon metcalfi | Southern Gray-cheeked Salamander

Amphibian News Archive
Climate change exposes amphibians to a high risk of dehydration in warming habitats, yet we have a very limited understanding of how amphibians might anticipate and prepare for climate change at a physiological level. A recent study by Riddell et al. (2019) discovered that lungless salamanders, specifically Southern Gray-cheeked Salamander (Plethodon metcalfi), use warming temperatures to anticipate the greater risk of dehydration by lowering water loss rates across their skin. Many plants and animals likely use thermal cues to predict their risk of drying out because temperature is correlated with the drying power of the air. Gene expression analyses found that salamanders reduced water loss rates by adjusting blood flow to their skin using pathways associated with regeneration of capillaries in the skin. Their study suggests that regeneration-specific pathways are not isolated to limb regeneration and might play a role in buffering salamanders from climate change.

Current number of amphibian species: 8,090 (Sep 16, 2019) Newly added species