Magnificent Web-Footed Salamander
Species Description: Hanken J, Wake DB and Savage JM 2005 A solution to the large black salamander problem (genus Bolitoglossa) in Costa Rica and Panama. Copeia 2005:227-245
© 2015 Frank Pasmans (1 of 8)
Description: Adult males average 58.6 mm (range 50.9 to 69.6 mm) in SVL, while adult females are much larger and average 90.1 mm (range 61.5 to 104.0 mm) in SVL. Tail length does not exceed SVL; the SVL/TL ratio is about 1.17 in both males and females. The head is narrow. Skin on the dorsal surface of the head is rugose. Snout is broadly rounded to somewhat truncated. Nostrils and eyes are small. The eyes do not protrude beyond the jaw margins in dorsal view. Nasolabial protuberances are inconspicuous in females and poorly developed in males. Mental glands in males are inconspicuous and oval-shaped with scattered residual dermal melanophores surrounding the lightly pigmented mental gland. A postiliac gland is visible, marked by a pale spot. Males have 2-3 premaxillary teeth (which are small but protrude anteriorly through the upper lip), 25-35 maxillary teeth and 17-21 vomerine teeth. Females have 2-5 premaxillary teeth, 25-58 maxillary teeth, and 26-32 vomerine teeth. The limbs are long, especially in males; males show a mean limb interval of 1.8 (range 1.5-2.5) while females have a mean limb interval of 3.1 (range 2.5-3.5). Hands and feet are large, with bluntly pointed digital tips. The length of fingers in decreasing order is 3>2>4>1; order of toes is 3>4>2>5>1. Webbing is present, but is more extensive in juveniles; in adults, two or more phalanges of the longest digits are free of webbing. All digits have strongly developed subterminal pads (Hanken et al. 2005).
In life, larger individuals of this species are entirely black, except for a few that have faint pale indistinct markings on the sides of the tail. Smaller specimens are black to charcoal gray with fine white dots speckled all over and more conspicuous white or silver blotches on the tail. In males, the mental gland is lightly pigmented. A large, pale spot marks the postiliac gland (Hanken et al. 2005).
In preservative, this salamander is black, with obscure, pale patches near the tail and on the tail, along with a few indistinct pale patches ventrolaterally. The gular region and jaw margins are slightly lighter. Soles are noticeably lighter. The iris is blackish-brown (Hanken et al. 2005).
Distribution and Habitat
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Trends and Threats
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Hanken, J. Wake, D. B., and Savage, J. M. (2005). ''A solution to the large black salamander problem (genus Bolitoglossa) in Costa Rica and Panamá.'' Copeia, 2005(2), 227-245.
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.
Written by Christine Lu (karomi AT berkeley.edu), UC Berkeley
First submitted 2009-10-22
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2011-03-12)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2011 Bolitoglossa magnifica: Magnificent Web-Footed Salamander <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/6431> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jan 23, 2021.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2021. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 23 Jan 2021.
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