Chiropterotriton lavae (Taylor, 1942)
Pygmy Splayfoot salamander
|Species Description: Taylor, E. H. (1942) “New Caudata and Salientia from México.” University of Kansas Science Bulletin 28, 295–323.|
© 2007 David Wake (1 of 16)
The species is diagnosed by its unique dentition and its relatively large limbs and feet adapted for arboreal habitats (Taylor 1942). A comparison with C. aureus and C. nubilus can be found in García-Castillo et al. 2018.
Chiropterotriton lavae are dull brown with spots of dark color. The spots are more concentrated in the dorsolateral region. The dorsal surface at the base of the tail has two short cream diagonal lines (Taylor 1942). It is unclear if this is in life or in preservative.
There is considerable variation in color patterns in paratypes (Taylor 1942).
Distribution and Habitat
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Chiropterotriton lavae lives on bromeliads (genus Catopsis) that grow on trunks in mixed pine-oak forest near La Joya, Veracruz, at 2100 m. The air temperature at which C. larvae were found was 25.4°C and the temperature in the bromeliads was 20.2°C (Raffaëlli 2014). All of the C. larvae salamanders were found on bromelias. The species had high occurrences when flipping the foliage of bromeliads before the introduction of mining and consequent deforestation (Parra-Olea 1999).
Chiropterotriton lavae was observed abundantly in the summer of 2003 when the forest was deforested because of the construction of a quarry that extracts volcanic rocks. By September 2004, almost 50% of the forest had disappeared due to the advancement of the quarry, and by 2013, it had almost completely disappeared (Raffaëlli 2014).
Snakes in the Rhadinaea family that feed on the salamander were observed at the bottom of a bromeliad (Raffaëlli 2014).
Trends and Threats
Bayesian Inference and Maximum Likelihood analyses of 12S,16S, and COI mitochondrial DNA revealed that there are two main groups within the Chiropterotriton genus, the southern clade and the northern clade, which are geographically isolated from each other. Chiropterotriton lavae belongs to the southern clade in which four named species and seven unnamed species are included as opposed to 12 in the northern clade. Chiropterotriton lavae is most closely related to species that were unnamed in 2018. Each of the southern clade species occur in geographic proximity but are found in different elevation and environmental conditions (García-Castillo et al. 2018).
Amphibian Species of the World (2020). “Chiropterotriton lavae (Taylor, 1942)” Amphibian Species of the World 6.0, an Online Reference. https://amphibiansoftheworld.amnh.org/Amphibia/Caudata/Plethodontidae/Hemidactyliinae/Chiropterotriton/Chiropterotriton-lavae Accessed in November 2020
García-Castillo MG, Soto-Pozos ÁF, Aguilar-López JL, Pineda E, Parra-Olea G. (2018). “Two new species of Chiropterotriton (Caudata: Plethodontidae) from central Veracruz, Mexico.” Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 12(2) [Special Section]: 37–54 (e167). [link]
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. (2016). “Chiropterotriton lavae.” The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T59226A53978402. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T59226A53978402.en. Accessed in November 2020.
Parra-Olea, G., García-París, M., and Wake, D. B. (1999). ''Status of some populations of Mexican salamanders (Amphibia: Plethodontidae).'' Revista de Biología Tropical, 47, 217-223.
Raffaëlli, J. (2007). Les Urodèles du monde. Penclen Edition, France.
Taylor, E. H. (1942) “New Caudata and Salientia from México.” University of Kansas Science Bulletin 28(14), 295–323. [link]
Wake, D. B. (1987). ''Adaptive radiation of salamanders in Middle American cloud forests.'' Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 74(2), 242-264.
Originally submitted by: Edward Cheng (2022-08-25)
Description by: Edward Cheng (updated 2022-08-25)
Distribution by: Edward Cheng (updated 2022-08-25)
Life history by: Edward Cheng (updated 2022-08-25)
Larva by: Edward Cheng (updated 2022-08-25)
Trends and threats by: Edward Cheng (updated 2022-08-25)
Comments by: Edward Cheng (updated 2022-08-25)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2022-08-25)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Chiropterotriton lavae: Pygmy Splayfoot salamander <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/4032> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Sep 29, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 29 Sep 2023.
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