Cloud Forest Salamander from Cofre de Perote; Salamandra del Bosque Niebla del Cofre de Perote
Species Description: 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 & Reptile Conservation 12(2) [Special Section]: 37–54 (e167).
© 2019 Maria Delia Basanta (1 of 17)
Other species in the genus Chiropterotriton that have similar characteristics include C. arboreus, C. aureus, C. chico, C. chiropterus, C. dimidiatus, C lavae, C. magnipes, C. masaueri, C. miquihuanus, C. multidentatus, C. orculus, and C. priscus. Chiropterotriton nubilus is shorter than C. arboreus, C. magnipes, C. mosaueri, C. multidentatus, and C. priscus. Meanwhile, C. nubilus has a longer body size than C. chondrostega, C. cracens, C. dimidiatus, and C. terrestris. Additionally, C. nubilus has smaller feet than C. arboreus, C. cieloensis, C. chico, C. infernalis, and C. priscus. However, C. nubilus has relatively shorter limbs than C. arboreus, C. cieloensis, C. infernalis, and C. multidentatus, but relatively longer limbs than C. dimidiatus, C. miquihuanus, and C. priscus. In comparison to C. aureus, female C. nubilus are longer and have longer limbs and feet than female C. aureus. Female C. nubilus also have longer and broader heads than female C. aureus. Female C. nubilus have more rounded digits and slightly more webbing than female C. aureus. Meanwhile, male C. nubilus have longer tails than male C. aureus. In comparison to C. chiropterus, C. nubilus has smaller feet with rounded digits, and the fourth finger of hand and fifth toe of foot are longer than C. chiropterus. Additionally, C. nubilus has more webbing that extends to just above the penultimate phalanx while C. chiropterus has webbing under the penultimate phalanx. Chiropterotriton nubilus are shorter and males have shorter limbs and heads than C. chiropterus. Chiropterotriton nubilus also have narrower heads with less pronounced jaw muscles, and less protuberant eyes than C. chiropterus. In general, C. nubilus is morphologically similar to C. lavae in body size and proportions. However, C. nubilus males are shorter than C. lavae males, and both sexes have a longer tail than C. lavae. Additionally, C. nubilus has a narrower head, shorter limbs, smaller feet, less webbing between their toes, and more maxillary teeth than C. lavae. In comparison to C. orculus, C. nubilus are shorter, have a longer tail, have relatively longer limbs in females, have a shorter/narrower head, have more maxillary teeth, and have smaller feet. In comparison to C. dimidiatus, C. nubilus are shorter, have a longer tail, have a longer/broader head, have relatively longer limbs, have more maxillary teeth, have more vomerine teeth, and have longer feet (Garcia-Castillo et al. 2018).
In life, the dorsal colors are salmon on a sepia-colored background. The ventral color, including the underside of the head as well as the lateral side of the head are cream white. The dorsal flanks are also cream white but with smoky white stipples. The upper side of the limbs are maroon, while the toe tips are magenta. The underside of the limbs are cream white with bluish-grey marks (Garcia-Castillo et al. 2018).
In alcohol, the overall dorsal color is dark yellow buff on a dusky brown surface. The ventral color is smoke gray, while the dorsal flanks are olive gray. The upper side of the head is drab with a dusky brown lateral line. The predominant color of the underside of the head is smoke gray with smoky white marks. The color of the underside of the tail is grayish horn. The dorsal side of the limbs are olive brown, while the ventral side of the limbs are smoke gray (Garcia-Castillo et al., 2018).
Only one male and two females were used for the species description, so sexual dimorphism is difficult to assess. The mean snout-vent length is slightly longer in the females than the male (30.5 in females and 29.4 for the male), males have a longer relative tail, females have relatively longer limbs and a longer, broader head. Females also has longer feet. Outside of sex, there are also some color variation within C. nubilus. The upper side of the head may be a pale horn color with dark brownish olive coloring on the surface with the later part of the head being ream white and pale buff on the underside. The dorsum may have two stripes that are pale horn colored on a sepia surface, the lateral dorsum being a light lavender and underside a pinkish white with small purple dots. The upper side of the tail may also be a pinkish white with medium purple dots and pale horn colored speckles. Forelimbs can be cream colored while the hind limbs are more fawn colored with toe tips having a magenta tint (Garcia-Castillo et al. 2018).
Distribution and Habitat
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Chiropterotriton nubilus was found to co-occur alongside several other plethodontid species, including Aquiloeurycea cafetalera, Parvimolge townsendi, Pseudoeurycea lynchi, and Thorius pennatulus (Garcia-Castillo et al. 2018).
Trends and Threats
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Bayesian Inference of 16s and COI mtDNA showed that C. nubilus is sister to C. chiropterus. Together they are sister to C. aureus (Garcia-Castillo et al. 2018).
The species epithet, “nubilus” comes from the Latin word for “cloud”, which refers to the cloud forest that the salamander is found in (Garcia-Castillo et al. 2018).
OTHER INTERESTING INFORMATION:
Veracruz is well known for its high salamander diversity. With the inclusion of C. nubilus, this number has risen to 39 species. The cloud forests of Cofre de Perote alone contains 20 species of the Bolitoglossines super genus, representing 16% of all Mexican salamanders in this tribe. However, that number may increase as phylogenetic relationships become better understood. Researchers suggest that the isolated nature of the cloud forests of Cofre de Perote may have allowed the evolution of so many species of salamanders (Garcia-Castillo et al. 2018).
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. 2020. “Chiropterotriton nubilus”. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T150088962A150088967. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-2.RLTS.T150088962A150088967.en. Accessed on 22 February 2022.
Toledo-Aceves, T., Meave, J.A., González-Espinosa, M., Ramírez-Marcial, N. (2011). “Tropical montane cloud forests: current threats and opportunities for their conservation and sustainable management in Mexico.” Journal of Environmental Management, 92(3): 974–981. [link]
Originally submitted by: Ronald Kichurchak, Molly Rose McPhun; Lindsay R Stedman, Shawn Stone (2022-02-24)
Description by: Ronald Kichurchak, Molly Rose McPhun; Lindsay R Stedman, Shawn Stone (updated 2022-02-24)
Distribution by: Ronald Kichurchak, Molly Rose McPhun; Lindsay R Stedman, Shawn Stone (updated 2022-02-24)
Life history by: Ronald Kichurchak, Molly Rose McPhun; Lindsay R Stedman, Shawn Stone (updated 2022-02-24)
Trends and threats by: Ronald Kichurchak, Molly Rose McPhun; Lindsay R Stedman, Shawn Stone (updated 2022-02-24)
Comments by: Ronald Kichurchak, Molly Rose McPhun; Lindsay R Stedman, Shawn Stone (updated 2022-02-24)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2022-02-24)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Chiropterotriton nubilus: Cloud Forest Salamander from Cofre de Perote; Salamandra del Bosque Niebla del Cofre de Perote <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/8951> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 6, 2022.
Feedback or comments about this page.
Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2022. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 6 Jul 2022.
AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.