AmphibiaWeb - Bolitoglossa sooyorum


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Bolitoglossa sooyorum Vial, 1963

Subgenus: Eladinea
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Hemidactyliinae
genus: Bolitoglossa
Species Description: Vial, J. L. (1963). "A new plethodontid salamander (Bolitoglossa sooyorum) from Costa Rica. Revista de Biología Tropical. San José 11: 89–97.
Bolitoglossa sooyorum
© 2007 David Wake (1 of 3)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Endangered (EN)
National Status None
Regional Status None
conservation needs Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .


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Diagnosis: Moderately-sized purplish-brown salamander with extensive yellow spots and flecking, long legs, and large, moderately-webbed feet (Savage 2002).

Description: Adults range between 62 to 142 mm in total length (males 58-65 mm standard length, females 34-72 mm standard length). The tail is moderately long, ranging from 49 to 52% of total length. Has 13 costal grooves (based on Dundee's visual count of costal grooves visible in Vial's original figure). Adult males have 0 to 0.5 costal folds separating adpressed limbs, while adult females have 0 to 1 costal folds separating adpressed limbs. Maxillary teeth range from 43 to 79, and vomerine teeth range from 22 to 33 in adults. The snout is blunt and rounded, with conspicuous nostrils and nasal cirri. Limbs are long and slender; when appressed to the body, they meet or overlap by up to a single costal fold. Hands and feet have moderate webbing (3/4) with two phalanges free of web on longest digits. Digits are flattened with rounded tips and have slightly developed subterminal pads (Dundee 1997; Savage 2002).

Coloration in life: Dorsal surfaces are dark lavender brown with many minute yellow flecks, particularly along the lateral margins of the body. The dorsal surface of the tail has a uniform dark lavender brown ground color with light blotches. The gular region is washed with lavender brown (uniform or marked with light blotches) (Dundee 1997).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Costa Rica

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Bolitoglossa sooyorum occurs in Costa Rica, on the Atlantic and Pacific slopes of the Cordillera de Talamanca. It may also occur in western Panama. It is found in lower montane and montane rainforests, at elevations of 2,355-3000 m asl, in talus on steep slopes as well as on road cuts (Savage 2002).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This is a rare nocturnal species that is not dependent on water. It breeds by direct development (Stuart et al. 2008).

Trends and Threats
This species was always rare and now is very seldom found. Habitat loss has occurred throughout the range, but this species has disappeared even where suitable habitat is present. It does not occur in degraded habitat. Other factors such as climate change or disease (possibly chytridiomycosis) may be impacting this species, given the extent of decline. It has not been confirmed to occur within any protected areas, though it may occur in Parque Nacional Chirripo. There is a need for population monitoring and for investigation of the reasons for the decline even in suitable habitat (Stuart et al. 2008).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

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

The chromosome number is N=13 (Dundee 1997).

The specific name was given in honor of Jean L. Van Sooy and Kirk Van Sooy.

A Spanish-language species account can be found at the website of Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio).


Vial, J. L. (1963). ''A new plethodontid salamander (Bolitoglossa sooyorum) from Costa Rica.'' Revista de Biología Tropical, 11, 89-97.

Dundee, H. A. (1997). ''Bolitoglossa sooyorum.'' Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, 662.1-662.2.

Savage, J. M. (2002). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica:a herpetofauna between two continents, between two seas. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, USA and London.

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: Michelle Fremming (first posted 2010-09-22)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2021-08-24)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2021 Bolitoglossa sooyorum <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 22, 2024.

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

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