AmphibiaWeb - Bolitoglossa oresbia


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Bolitoglossa oresbia McCranie, Espinal & Wilson, 2005

Subgenus: Magnadigita
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Hemidactyliinae
genus: Bolitoglossa
Species Description: McCranie JR, Espinal MR, Wilson LD 2005 New species of montne salamander of the Bolitoglossa dunni group from northern Comayagua, Honduras (Urodela: Plethodontidae) J Herpetol 39:108-112

© 2007 Josiah H. Townsend (1 of 5)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Critically Endangered (CR)
National Status None
Regional Status None
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.


Diagnosis: Bolitoglossa oresbia is a Honduran salamander that is distinguished by its color and pattern. It differs from all Honduran members of the B. dunni group except for B. diaphora and B. porrasorum (B. carri, B. celaque, B. conanti, B. decora, B. dunni, B. longissima, B. synoria) in having uniform buff-yellow coloration on the anterior three-fourths of the subcaudal surface in life. Preserved specimens differ from all but B. diaphora and B. porrasorum in having yellowish-brown coloration with only widely scattered brown flecks. Live individuals further differ from all the abovementioned species, including B. diaphora and B. porrasorum, in having this buff-yellow coloration extend onto the ventrolateral portion of the body or tail (McCranie et al. 2005). B. porrasorum can be further distinguished by having subcaudal surfaces that are dark brown or heavily flecked with dark brown, and lacking buff-yellow spots on the anterior and posterior upper limbs, as well as having more maxillary teeth (71-94 in B. porrasorum vs. 64-66 in B. oresbia). B. diaphora can be further distinguished by lacking well-developed subdigital pads, having pointed to acutely rounded toe tips, and extensive toe webbing (vs. presence of subdigital pads, bluntly rounded toe tips, and nearly two segments on either side of finger III and toe III free of webbing in B. oresbia).

Description: TL (41.5 mm) of B. dunni is approximately 80% of SVL (50.8 mm). Head is longer than wide. The snout is truncated in dorsal view dand rounded in profile. Nasolabial groove is slightly swollen but does not protrude past tip of snout. Eyes are also slightly protuberant but cannot be seen past margin of jaws when viewed from below. Mental gland cluster is missing. Suborbital groove is distinct, while postorbital groove is shallow and extends ventrally behind the mandible and across throat, forming a poorly defined groove 3.3 mm anterior to the well-defined gular fold. B. oresbia has 6 premaxillary teeth, 66 maxillary teeth, and 22 vomerine teeth (arranged in a single arched series). Tail has a strong basal constriction; the proximal half of the tail is rectangular in cross section and becomes more rounded distally. Limbs are relatively long and slender. Digits are moderately webbed, with nearly two segments on finger III and toe III free of webbing. The relative length of digits on forelimb is III>IV>II>I; on hind limbs III>IV>II>V>I. Subdigital pads are well-developed. Digit tips are bluntly rounded. Cloacal folds are present (McCranie et al. 2005).

Coloration of B. dunni in life is grayish brown with small irregular buff-yellow spots on the dorsal surfaces of head, body, and anterior portion of tail, as well as the anterior and posterior surfaces of the upper segments of limbs. Ventral surface is uniformly buff-yellow, with the yellow coloration extending to ventrolateral surface of tail (McCranie et al. 2005).

In preservation, the dorsal surfaces are grayish-brown with indistinct pale brown spots on the flanks and the dorsal surface of the tail. Ventral surface becomes yellowish brown with grayish brown flecks (McCranie et al. 2005).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Honduras


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Endemic to western Honduras and known only from a single cloudforest locality on the isolated mountaintop of Cerro El Zarciadero, Department of Comayagua, Honduras, at 1,880 m asl. Specimens were found inside water-containing arboreal bromeliads (McCranie et al. 2005).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
During a period of heavy rainfall in September 2003, B. oresbia appeared to have fled the bromeliads because the leaf axils were filled to capacity with water (McCranie et al. 2005). It is presumed to breed by direct development (Stuart et al. 2008).

Trends and Threats
B. oresbia is one the most endangered salamanders in Honduras. It is known from only a few specimens, collected at a single mountaintop cloudforest locality. Three specimens were collected in July 2003, and three more specimens were collected in June 2006. Its habitat has been reduced to a single hectare of forest on an isolated mountaintop with corn fields completely surrounding the area. This species is highly vulnerable to further habitat deterioration and urgently requires further protection (McCranie et al. 2005; 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


First described by McCranie et al. (2005). The specific name oresbia derives from the Greek word oresbios, meaning "living in or on mountains" and referring to the montane habitat of this species.


McCranie, J. R., Espinal, M. R., and Wilson, L. D. (2005). ''New species of montane salamander of the Bolitoglossa dunni group from Northern Comayagua, Honduras (Urodela: Plethodontidae).'' Journal of Herpetology, 39(1), 108-112.

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: Christine Lu (first posted 2010-07-19)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2011-03-12)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2011 Bolitoglossa oresbia <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 13, 2024.

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

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