AmphibiaWeb - Bolitoglossa paraensis


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Bolitoglossa paraensis (Unterstein, 1930)

Subgenus: Eladinea
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Hemidactyliinae
genus: Bolitoglossa
Species Description: Unterstein, W. 1930. Beschreibung zweier neuer Molche der Gattung Oedipus. Zoologischer Anzeiger 87: 270–272.

© 2008 Selvino Neckel (1 of 10)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Data Deficient (DD)
National Status None
Regional Status Vunerable
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Bolitoglossa paraensis is a small salamander with adult males having a standard length of around 29 - 42 mm and females being larger, having a standard length of around 31 - 48 mm. The species has a flattened, slender head, with a head width to standard length ratio of about 7. They have short snouts that are 40 - 50% the width of their heads. They have small nostrils on the tip of their snout. Nasolabial protuberances are moderately present in both males and females. They have prominent eyes with a horizontal orbital diameter that is 85% of the snout length. Mental glands are present only in males and have a width of 1.6 - 3.5 mm and a length of 1.6 - 3.0 mm. They have cylindrical bodies with 13 costal grooves. The number of intercostal spaces between adpressed limbs is 2.5 - 5.5. They have broad, completely webbed feet. Distal phalanges of the longest digits are free. Their digits decrease in length in the following order: 3 - 2 - 4 - 1 for fingers and 3 - 2 - 4 - 5 - 1 for toes. The tail is cylindrical until about half its length, then its cross sectional area begins to decrease. Bolitoglossa paraensis have a tail length to standard length ratio of about 75 - 100% (Brcko et al. 2013).

Bolitoglossa paraensis can be distinguished from other species due to its extensive digital webbing, 13 costal grooves, and the absence of a sublingual fold. Compared to other members of the genus Bolitoglossa, B. paraensis is small and slender (Brcko et al. 2013).

In life, the dorsal surface of the body is gray with blotches of light or dark brown. There are also white spots along the body and flanks. The ventral surface is dark gray with evenly distributed white spots. The snout has cream blotches between the nostrils and above the nasolabial protuberance. The tail is lighter than the back, and is brownish with white spots on both the dorsal and lateral surfaces. The iris is pale golden and the mental gland is whitish (Brcko et al. 2013).

In preservative, the dorsal surface of the head and body are dark gray with reddish brown blotches. Some specimens have uniform coloration while others are mottled or with a mid-dorsal stripe. The ventral surface is light brown with evenly distributed cream spots. The snout is cream or has cream blotches between the nostrils and above the nasolabial protuberance. Most specimens have a triangular dark brown marking between the eyes. The mental gland is apparent and cream colored (Brcko et al. 2013).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Brazil


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Bolitoglossa paraensis can be found in the eastern part of the state of Para in Brazil. They are found between 10 m and 40 m above sea level (Brcko et al. 2013). They exist in tropical lowland rainforests (Neckel-Oliveira et al. 2011).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Though B. paraensis is quite common where habitat is suitable (Neckel-Oliveira et al. 2011).

They are typically found on the leaves of small shrubs 0.3 - 2.6 m above the ground, but may also live in leaf litter and in the bark of trees. They are found in a variety of vegetation types such as primary terra firme forest, secondary forest, floodplain forest, and igapó, capoeira. But they can also be found in agricultural areas such as monocultures of passion fruit (Passiflora edulis), cocoa (Theobroma cacao), and African oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) (Brcko et al. 2013).

They are active mostly during the rainy months of December to March (Neckel-Oliveira et al. 2011, Brcko et al. 2013).

Life history patterns, such as breeding, are heavily influenced by ecological factors, specifically climate. Reproductive activity is likely triggered by increased precipitation or humidity. Clutch size varies from 8 -14 eggs (Neckel-Oliveira et al. 2011).

Members of Bolitoglossa lay eggs that hatch into metamorphosed juveniles (Neckel-Oliveira et al. 2011).

As a member of family Plethodontidae, B. paraensis is presumed to reproduce via direct development.

Trends and Threats
As of 2010, the species has been listed on the IUCN Red List as “Data Deficient” (Neckel Oliveira and Hoogmoed 2010). However, several members of Bolitoglossa are suffering decreases in population or extinction due to habitat loss. The forests in which B. paraensis lives have been reduced and fragmented, yet they remain common in suitable environments. Bolitoglossa paraensis has been listed as “Vulnerable” by the state of Para. However, new data may indicate that populations are becoming more abundant (Brcko et al. 2013).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

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

Bolitoglossa paraensis was formerly thought to be synonymized with B. altamazonica (Brcko et al. 2011), but was split in 2004 (Brcko et al. 2013). By 2010, researchers believed that B. paraensis could be split into a complex of 3 - 4 species (Neckel Oliveira and Hoogmoed 2010). Later morphological comparisons split B. caldwellae, B. madeira and B. tapajonica from B. paraensis (Brcko et al. 2013).


Brcko, I. C., Hoogmoed M., Neckel-Oliviera, S. (2013).“Taxonomy and Distribution of the Salamander Genus Bolitoglossa Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854 (Amphibia, Caudata, Plethodontidae) in Brazilian Amazonia.” Zootaxa 3686, 4, 401-431 [link]

Neckel Oliveira, S. Hoogmoed, M.S. (2010). "Bolitoglossa paraensis." The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T135735A4195091. Accessed on 24 August 2022.

Neckel-Oliveira, S., Sarmento, J. F. M., Galatti, U., Suárez, P., Lima, C., Lima, A. A., Fáveri, S. B. (2011). "Reproductive traits of the Brazilian salamander Bolitoglossa paraensis (Urodela: Plethodontidae)." Copeia 2011(3), 457-462 [link]

Originally submitted by: Jacob Scheer (2022-08-25)
Description by: Jacob Scheer (updated 2022-08-25)
Distribution by: Jacob Scheer (updated 2022-08-25)
Life history by: Jacob Scheer (updated 2022-08-25)
Larva by: Jacob Scheer (updated 2022-08-25)
Trends and threats by: Jacob Scheer (updated 2022-08-25)
Comments by: Jacob Scheer (updated 2022-08-25)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2022-08-25)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Bolitoglossa paraensis <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Feb 24, 2024.

Feedback or comments about this page.


Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 24 Feb 2024.

AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.