AmphibiaWeb - Bolitoglossa ramosi


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Bolitoglossa ramosi Brame & Wake, 1972
Ramos' Mushroom-tongue Salamander
Subgenus: Eladinea
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Hemidactyliinae
genus: Bolitoglossa
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.
Bolitoglossa ramosi
© 2017 Cristian Castro Morales (1 of 4)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Near Threatened (NT)
National Status None
Regional Status None


Berkeley mapper logo

View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
amphibiandisease logo View Bd and Bsal data (7 records).

Bolitoglossa ramosi is a relatively small salamander species. Among the collected specimens, snout-vent-lengths of five males range from 37.1 – 45.4 mm, and the snout-vent-lengths of two females range from 37.2 – 46.7 mm. The average male snout-vent length is 40.4 mm and 42.0 for females. The snout is long and truncate with small nostrils. The canthus rostralis is gently arched and moderately long. Its nasolabial grooves are well developed, reaching towards the jaw. An under-eye groove extends for the full length of the orbit, curving along the eye but does not reach the lip. The eyes are slightly protuberant with well-defined postorbital groove, slightly depressing towards the posterior of the eyes. This groove lines is level with the end of the mandible, extending in the ventral direction and across the gular area as a nuchal groove parallel to the gular fold. Bolitoglossa ramosi typically has a large visible hedonic gland on the back of its relatively broad head. The tail is about 94% the snout-vent-length, laterally compressed, and slightly constricted at the base. A postiliac gland is not present. The limbs are long, with nearly full webbing on hands and feet. The tips of longer digits are pointed beyond the thick webbing. The third digit of both the hands and feet is significantly longer than others. The relative finger lengths are III > II > IV > I, and the relative toe lengths are III > IV > II > V > I. Subterminal pads are not present (Brame and Wake 1972).

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

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Colombia

Berkeley mapper logo

View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
amphibiandisease logo View Bd and Bsal data (7 records).
Bolitoglossa ramosi is only distributed across the northern part of the Codillera Central of Colombia, typically at elevations 1200 – 2000 m above sea level (Brame and Wake 1972) in tropical to sub-tropical premontane forests, and bushes along side streams, but the species has also been found in pasture land and near urban areas (Castro et al. 2004). All specimens from the 1976 survey were found either in the bromeliads within a few feet of the ground or in the palm fronds of forest hills (Brame and Wake 1972).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Bolitoglossa ramosi is a terrestrial salamander species with direct development and a tendency for arboreality (Arenas Gomez et al. 2017, Castro et al. 2004). Details on its breeding are currently unknown (Castro 2004).

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
While B. ramosi's population is stable and there are no major threats to this adaptable salamander species, the range of the species is not known to be in any protected areas (Castro et al. 2004).

The species authority is: 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.

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. Downloaded on 06 May 2019.

Originally submitted by: Hanlu Chen (first posted 2019-05-02)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2022-05-12)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Bolitoglossa ramosi: Ramos' Mushroom-tongue Salamander <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 22, 2024.

Feedback or comments about this page.


Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 22 Jun 2024.

AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.