AmphibiaWeb - Bolitoglossa leandrae


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Bolitoglossa leandrae Acevedo, Wake, Márquez, Silva, Franco & Amézquita, 2013
Leandra salamander, Salamandra de Leandra
Subgenus: Eladinea
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Hemidactyliinae
genus: Bolitoglossa
Species Description: Acevedo AA, Wake DB, Marquez R, Silva K, Franco R, Amezquita A 2013 Two new species of salamanders, genus Bolitoglossa (Amphibia: Plethodontidae), from the eastern Colombian Andes. Zootaxa 3609: 069-084.
Bolitoglossa leandrae
© 2013 Aldemar A. Acevedo (1 of 2)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Endangered (EN) - Provisional
National Status None
Regional Status None


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Bolitoglossa leandrae is a relatively small Bolitoglossa salamander with the snout-vent length in three males ranging from 29.1 - 31.1 mm. One female specimen had a snout-vent length of 39.2 mm. The head is relatively narrow and is longer than wide. In the dorsal view, the snout is rounded and truncate. The distance between the moderate nostrils is about a third of the width of the head. The large, well-developed eyes are set on the posterior side of the head and protrude from the outline of the head. The eyelids are longer than wide. The distance between the eyes is half the width of the head. The distance between the nuchal groove and the gular fold is a little more than half the width of the head. The body length is shorter than the long and slender tail length. The species has 13 costal grooves between the limbs and, when the relatively short limbs are appressed to the body, they are separated by 2.5 costal grooves. Webbing is extensively present on both the hands and feet and they also lack subdermal pads on their digits. Relative finger lengths are 3 > 2 > 4 > 1 and relative toe lengths are 3 > 2 > 4 > 5 > 1. Males have unpigmented, two-lobed testes and lack an obvious hedonic mental gland (Acevedo et al. 2013).

This species is considered part of the genus Bolitoglossa because of the lack of a sublingual fold, the extensive webbing on their digits, and the number of costal grooves between their limbs. Bolitoglossa leandrae is different from the other South American Bolitoglossa species because of several morphological features. With a maximum known snout-vent length of 39.2 mm, B. leandrea is the smallest species in the Bolitoglossa genus. However, it is not much smaller from the next smallest species, B. altamazonica which has a maximum snout-vent length of 41.2 mm. Bolitoglossa leandrea has more extensive webbing than highland (far more) and mid-land (moderately more) species. Highland species are B. hypacra, B. adspersa, and B. guaramacalensis, and mid-land species are B. tatamae, B. vallecula, B. spongai, B. orestes, B. palmata, B. savagei, B. ramosi, B. capitana, B. nicefori, B. phalarosoma, B. pandi, B. borburata, B. sima, B peruviana, and B. equatoriana. However, B. leandrae has less extensive webbing than the lowland species, B. biseriata, B. lozanoi, B. altamazonica, B. chica, and B. medemi. Compared specifically to B. guaneae, the focal species has a smaller snout-vent length, more digit webbing, and fewer maxillary teeth. Most South American Bolitoglossa species have more maxillary teeth than B. leandrae; the only species that have fewer maxillary teeth are B. adspera, B. orestes, B. altamazonica, B. chica, and B. equatoriana. Bolitoglossa leandrae also have more vomerine teeth (males: 19, females: 20) than B. hiemalis, B. orestes, B. spongai, B. altamazonica, B. sima, B. peruviana and B. lozanoi (Acevedo et al. 2013).

Coloration in life and preserved individuals are the same. In males the tail and trunk dorsum are a dark brown color with thin yellow stripes running down the length of the body. On the female, the dorsal surface ranges from a copper-brown to reddish color. The species venter is mostly grey with little brown spots (Acevedo et al. 2013).

The number of maxillary teeth in B. leandrae varies by sex, male have 23, and females have 29. There is also a difference in the number of vomerine teeth, which is 19 for males, and 20 for females. This species is sexually dimorphic in size; females are larger (mean snout-vent length = 39.2mm), than males (mean snout-vent length = 30.3mm; Acevedo et al. 2013).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Colombia, Venezuela

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This species is found in the eastern Colombian Andes near the border with Venezuela within the Parque National Natural Tamá close to San Antonio, Departamento de Norte de Santander. The only known population was in small forest patches at 600 m above sea level. Their habitat consists of secondary tropical rainforests (Acevedo et al. 2013).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This species is nocturnal. It is found on low vegetation at night and in the leaf litter during the day (Acevedo et al. 2013).

Trends and Threats
The species faces two main threats, forest fragmentation, and chytridiomycosis infection. Bolitoglossa leandrae is found in unprotected small patches of secondary forest, surrounded by vast pastures used for agriculture and livestock, that faces increasing risk of deforestation. Additionally, B. leandrae is among the first species in Colombia to test positive for the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Both of these threats decrease the species chances of survival.

While the species has not been evaluated by the IUCN Redlist, according to the known information the species should be classified as “Endangered B2ac (iii)”, following the Red List Category & Criteria because the species is known from fewer than 5 localities (in this case only one locality) that are in a fragmented habitat and that is less than 500 km2. Formal evaluation of their state of conservation is needed so that management protocols can be planned (Acevedo et al. 2013).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Habitat fragmentation

The species authority is: Acevedo, A., Wake, D., Márquez, R., Silva, K., Franco, R., Amézquita, A. (2013). Two New Species of Salamanders, Genus Bolitoglossa (Amphibia: Plethodontidae), from the Eastern Colombian Andes. Zootaxa, 3609(1), 69–84. doi:

This species belongs to a subclade within the Eladinea clade. Based on Bayesian Inference and Maximum Likelihood analysis of 510 base pair sequence of the 16S rRNA gene, B. leandrae is most closely related to B. nicefori (Acevedo et al. 2013).

The species epithet was chosen to honor a local girl named Leandra Mojica, as a representation of the children of the rural area of Tama National Park in San Antonio who showed the researchers great excitement in learning about amphibians (Acevedo et al. 2013).

A putative B. altamazonica specimen from Quebrada Doradas, Distrito Uribante, Táchira, Venezuela, 60 km northnortheast of the type locality for B. leandrae may be more closely related to the focal species than the more wide-spread B. altamazonica (Acevedo et al. 2013).


Acevedo, A. A., Wake, D. B, Márquez, R., Silva, K., Franco, R., Amézquita, A. (2013). "Two New Species of Salamanders, Genus Bolitoglossa (Amphibia: Plethodontidae), from the Eastern Colombian Andes." Zootaxa, 3609(1), 69-84. [link]

Originally submitted by: Valentina Bache-Rodriguez (first posted 2016-12-28)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2016-12-28)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2016 Bolitoglossa leandrae: Leandra salamander <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 13, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 13 Jul 2024.

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