AmphibiaWeb - Bolitoglossa lignicolor


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Bolitoglossa lignicolor (Peters, 1873)

Subgenus: Bolitoglossa
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Hemidactyliinae
genus: Bolitoglossa

© 2009 Eduardo Boza Oviedo (1 of 11)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

This species is a medium-sized, robust, brown salamander with fully webbed digits. It usually has a wide light-colored dorsal field with darker brown streaks or wash, although some individuals are uniform brown. The venter is marked with enlarged light spots (Savage 2002).

Adults are 76 to 160 mm in total length. Adult males are 47 to 68 mm in standard length, while adult females are 46 to 81 mm in standard length. Tail length is moderate, ranging from 45% to 51% of total length. Eyes are also moderate and slightly protuberant. Adults have 27 to 48 maxillary teeth, and 22 to 40 vomerine teeth. In males, there are 2 to 3 1/2 costal folds between adpressed limbs, while in females, there are 2 1/2 to 4 costal folds. Hands and feet are fully webbed. Webs are thick and digits are not very flattened. No subterminal pads are present. Head width is 14 to 18% of standard length. In adult males, leg length is 22 to 26% of standard length, and in females, leg length is 21 to 24% (Brame and Wake 1963).

Color is variable. Flanks and venter are dark chocolate and usually sharply separated from the broad dorsal cream to tan field. Dorsal field is unmarked in juveniles but in adults, it usually has dark brown streaks or washes. Some adults are uniform dark brown or have only a few streaks of light color. Venter is a uniform dark brown in juveniles; in adults the venter is usually marked with large light spots (Savage 2002).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Costa Rica, Panama


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Bolitoglossa lignicolor has a very fragmented distribution in southwestern Costa Rica and adjacent western Panama and also in the Azuero Peninsula, Panama, at elevations from 2 to 884 m (Savage 2002; Koehler et al. 2008; Ibañez et al. 2000). It is found in lowland moist and wet forest and marginally into premontane rainforest habitat (Savage 2002).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This species has direct development. It is nocturnal and arboreal and often shelters in bromeliads by day (or in the axils of other plants), and can also be found in or under terrestrial logs (Savage 2002).

Trends and Threats
This species is not common. It occurs in at least two protected areas: Parque Nacional Corcovado in Costa Rica and Parque Nacional Coiba in Panama. Habitat loss is a threat, due to increased agriculture and grazing as well as clear-cutting (Stuart et al. 2008).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

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


A Spanish-language species account can be found at the website of Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio).


Koehler, G., Sunyer, J., Ponce, M., and Batista, A. (2008). ''Noteworthy records of amphibians and reptiles in Panama (Amphibia: Plethodontidae, Craugastoridae, Hylidae; Reptilia: Polychrotidae).'' Senckenbergiana Biologica, 88, 329-333.

Brame, A. H., and Wake, D. B. (1963). ''Redescription of the plethodontid salamander Bolitoglossa lignicolor (Peters), with remarks on the status of B. palustris Taylor.'' Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 76, 289-296.

Ibañez, R., Solí­s, F., Jaramillo, C. and Rand, S. (2000). ''An overview of the herpetology of Panama.'' Mesoamerican Herpetology: Systematics, Zoogeography and Conservation. Johnson, J. D., Webb, R. G. and Flores-Villela, O. A., eds., The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas, 159-170.

Savage, J. M. (2002). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica:a herpetofauna between two continents, between two seas. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, USA and London.

Stuart, S., Hoffmann, M., Chanson, J., Cox, N., Berridge, R., Ramani, P., Young, B. (eds) (2008). Threatened Amphibians of the World. Lynx Edicions, IUCN, and Conservation International, Barcelona, Spain; Gland, Switzerland; and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Originally submitted by: David Chen (first posted 2009-11-02)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2010-04-19)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2010 Bolitoglossa lignicolor <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Dec 5, 2023.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 5 Dec 2023.

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