AmphibiaWeb - Bolitoglossa robinsoni


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Bolitoglossa robinsoni Bolaños & Wake, 2009
Robinson's Web-footed Salamander
Subgenus: Eladinea
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Hemidactyliinae
genus: Bolitoglossa
Species Description: Bolanos F, Wake DB 2009 Two new species of montane web- footed salamanders (Plethodontidae: Bolitoglossa) from the Costa Rica-Panama border region. Zootaxa 1981:57-68.

© 2013 Víctor Acosta Chaves (1 of 2)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Data Deficient (DD)
National Status None
Regional Status None
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .



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Bolitoglossa robinsoni is a relatively large and stout-bodied species of salamander. The standard length (from the snout to the posterior angle of the vent) ranges from 45 to 63 mm and total length is approximately 122 mm. The head is well defined from the neck and the snout is largely rounded but not protruding. Nostrils are diminutive and nasolabial protuberances are weakly developed. Eyes are fairly large as they project slightly beyond the lateral margins of the head and are relatively frontal in orientation. B. robinsoni averages 6 premaxillary teeth, 31-34 maxillary teeth, and 10-12 vomerine teeth aligned in a single row. A sublingual fold is not present. Limbs are stout and moderately long; the distance between adpressed limbs (limb interval) is 2.0 costal grooves. Hands and feet are large and slightly webbed, with shortened digital tips and well-developed subterminal pads. In order of decreasing length, fingers are 3>4>2>1 and toes are 3>4>2>5>1. Postiliac glands are not visible.

In preservative, this species has a dark brownish-black ground color, but it has such a quantity of pale spots that it appears light-colored. Along the trunk an intricate pattern is present of alternating light yellow and dark color. Costal grooves are mostly dark while intercostal folds are mainly light. Limbs and tail are marbled with dark brown and yellowish gray. The venter and throat are primarily pale in color; however, the venter is also somewhat mottled and the throat displays punctate melanophores. Tail venter is dark with jagged lighter spots.

Bolitoglossa robinsoni differs from all other salamanders in the region by virtue of its larger size combined with extensive yellow spotting and relatively long and moderately webbed digits.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Costa Rica, Panama


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Bolitoglossa robinsoni is found on a section of the Cordillera de Talamanca (Cerro Echandi and Cerro Burú, Provincia Puntarenas) located on the continental divide between Costa Rica and Panamá, and also on the high Fábrega Massif, a plateau with a mean elevation above 3000 meters. This species is commonly found in páramo and montane forest habitats.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This species is likely to be a direct developer as are other species of Bolitoglossa.

The species is named in honor of the late Douglas C. Robinson, who surveyed amphibians and reptiles in Costa Rica and consolidated the University of Costa Rica’s specimen collection. He was the mentor of most of today's Costa Rican herpetologists.

This species was previously referred to as sp. nov. 5 in Wake (2005). It may be a species complex of as many as four or five species. Sympatric with B. pygmaea on the Fábrega Massif.


Bolaños, F. and Wake, D. B. (2009). ''Two new species of montane web-footed salamanders (Plethodontidae: Bolitoglossa) from the Costa Rica-Panamá border region.'' Zootaxa, 1981, 57-68.

Wake, D. B. (2005). ''Diversity of Costa Rican salamanders.'' Ecology and Evolution in the Tropics: a Herpetological Perspective. M. A. Donnelly, B. I. Crother, C. Guyer, M. H. Wake, and M. E. White, eds., University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Originally submitted by: Catherine Aguilar (first posted 2009-02-18)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2009-03-10)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2009 Bolitoglossa robinsoni: Robinson's Web-footed Salamander <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Dec 2, 2023.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 2 Dec 2023.

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