Ramos' Mushroom-tongue Salamander
Species Description: Brame, AH, Jr., Wake, DB. 1972. New species of salamanders (genus Bolitoglossa) from Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama. Contributions in Science. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County 219: 1–34.
© 2017 Cristian Castro Morales (1 of 4)
The combination of thickly webbed hands and feet with a long, pointed third digit distinguishes B. ramosi from other Panamanian and South American salamanders. Additionally, the rich coloration is also unique to B. ramosi among Panamanian and South American salamanders. More specifically, B. ramosi can be distinguished from B. medemi by its greater number of teeth and lighter dorsal color. Bolitoglossa ramosi has fewer teeth and a narrower head than B. equatoriana and B. walkeri. The lack of subtermial pads distinguishes B. ramosi from B. adspersa, B. hiemalis, B. hypacra, B. savagei and B. vallecula. The webbing of B. ramosi is less extensive than B. leandrae, and lowland species, including B. biseriata, B. lozanoi, B. altamazonica, B. chica and B. medemi, but more extensive than B. adspersa, B. guaramacalensis, B. hypacra, B. tatamae and B. vallecula (Acevedo et al. 2013, Brame and Wake 1972).
Bolitoglossa ramosi is a brightly colored salamander species. The head, trunk and tail are all colored as rich rusty red. In some areas, especially the snout, a few ground-colored dark spots are present. The head is mottled with rusty red and black, but the tip of the nasolabial protuberances is white. The mouth is dark-bordered. The abdomen of B. ramosi is dark gray or black. Some irregularly shaped, bright pale-yellow small spots and patches are scattered all around the posterior side of the throat, trunk and tail. The upper arms and legs are light red on the dorsal surfaces, but lower arms and legs are dark gray or black, matching the ventral surfaces of the trunk. The webbed pads are dark-colored on both sides. The bones of the fingers and toes are also outlined by dark-colored pigments on the dorsal surface. Bolitoglossa ramosi has dark colored eyes, with high concentrations of dark brown and black pigments (Brame and Wake 1972).
Males typically have longer snouts than females do. Some smaller specimens do not have an evident hedonic gland on the head. One specimen has a pair of broad white stripes starting on the tips of the nasolabial protuberances and extending towards eyelids. Another specimen also has an overall lighter coloration at the base and first one-third of the tail, with larger pale-yellow patches scatted on the posterior body (Brame and Wake 1972).
Distribution and Habitat
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Interestingly, limb regeneration is considerably slower for B. ramosi than other salamanders. This slower regeneration speed is believed to be associated with a comparatively smaller genome size of B. ramosi (Arenas Gomez et al. 2017).
In 1968, all B. ramosi were sympatric to Bolitoglossa vallecula, another species widely spread across the same area. However, no B. vallecula were found in later collections (Arenas Gomez et al. 2017, Brame and Wake 1972).
Trends and Threats
The C-value, the amount of DNA in a haploid nucleus, for B. ramosi is 26 Gb. In the most up to date genome size database, the C-value range for typical Bolitoglossaspecies is between 21 – 76 Gb. However, newts (35 Gb) and axolotls (30 Gb) have considerably larger genome sizes (Arenas Gomez et al. 2017). Bolitoglossa ramosi is named after Jorge Eduardo Ramos for his contribution to the successful trip of Philip A. Silverstone and Arden H. Brame, Jr. to Columbia, during which these two scientists first collected specimens of B. ramosi (Brame and Wake 1972).
Most specimens for the initial description of B. ramosi were incidentally collected by Philips A. Silverstone, who was focused on Colombian frogs. Arden H. Brame. Jr. collected additional specimens in the spring, and Ronald W. Heyer collected another series in the summer of 1971 (Brame and Wake 1972).
This species was highlighted in News of the Week:
January 15, 2018: Among vertebrates, adult salamanders are unique in their ability to regenerate complex tissues, such as limbs. The model organisms for limb regeneration are the Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum, family Ambystomatidae) and species from the family Salamandridae. The two families use different cellular mechanisms of regeneration and axolotls have very different life histories from newts as the former is fully aquatic while the latter exhibits a traditional, biphasic life cycle. Arenas Gomez et al. (2017) characterized limb regeneration in Bolitoglossa ramosi (family Plethodontidae), a fully terrestrial salamander with direct development. Among the differences in regeneration, they found that B. ramosi takes longer than other species to regenerate limbs, leading to questions regarding the relationship between limb regeneration and direct vs indirect development. (Written by Ann Chang)
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]
Arenas Gomez, C. M., Gomez Molina, A., Zapata, J. D., Delgado, J. P. (2017). ''Limb regeneration in a direct-developing terrestrial salamander, Bolitoglossa ramosi (Caudata: Plethodontidae): Limb regeneration in plethodontid salamanders.'' Regeneration, 4(4), 227-235. [link]
Brame, A. H., Jr., Wake, D. B. (1972). ''New species of salamanders (genus Bolitoglossa) from Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama.'' Contributions in Science Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 219, 1–34. [link]
Castro, F., Herrera,, M.I., Acosta-Galvis, A. (2004). ''Bolitoglossa ramosi''. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T59198A11886496. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2004.RLTS.T59198A11886496.en. Downloaded on 06 May 2019.
Written by Hanlu Chen (chenhanlu AT berkeley.edu), UC Berkeley
First submitted 2019-05-02
Edited by Ann T. Chang (2019-08-03)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2019 Bolitoglossa ramosi: Ramos' Mushroom-tongue Salamander <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/4005> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Nov 13, 2019.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2019. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 13 Nov 2019.
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