AmphibiaWeb - Chiropterotriton totonacus
AMPHIBIAWEB
Chiropterotriton totonacus
Cruz Blanca Salamander, Salamandra de Cruz Blanca
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Hemidactyliinae
 
Species Description: Parra Olea G, Garcia-Castillo MG, Rovito SM, Maisano JA, Hanken J, Wake DB. 2020. Descriptions of five new species of the salamander genus Chiropterotriton (Caudata: Plethodontidae) from eastern Mexico and the status of three currently recognized taxa. PeerJ 8:e8800 DOI 10.7717/peerj.8800

© 2020 Sean Michael Rovito (1 of 5)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Critically Endangered (CR) - Provisional
CITES No CITES Listing
National Status None
Regional Status None

   

 

View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Description

Chiropterotriton totonacus is a medium-sized salamander with a snout-vent length range of 32.0 – 38.6 mm in males and 31.8 – 38.3 mm in females. The head is of moderate width with prominent jaw muscles in both sexes. The snout is broad and blunt. The eyes are large and prominent. Males have an average of 32.9 maxillary teeth and females have an average of 52.6. The limbs are considered relatively long with the combined fore-hind limb length averaging 59% of the snout-vent length in males and 57% of the snout-vent length in females. The species has a long slender tail ranging from 34.3 – 44.9 mm in males and 36.3 – 49.2 mm in females. Mental glands are relatively prominent in males, being large and oval-shaped (Parra-Olea et al. 2020).

Chiropterotriton totonacus is of medium size, phylogenetically comparable to Chiropterotriton ceronorum, C. perotensis, and C. lavae. A way to differentiate C. totonacus from similar species is by its first digit, which is distinct and is webbing except at its tip (Parra-Olea et al. 2020).

In life, the dorsal background is an extremely dark brownish grey with its head being dark grey. The gular region is pale gray and the ventral surface of the tail, limbs, and body are medium grey. The iris is dark golden-brown (Parra-Olea et al. 2020).

In three specimens, the dorsal patterning differed from a broad reddish-brown dorsal band, a broken and irregular dorsal band, to no dorsal band at all. There is also variation on the head with brown blotches or grey specks appearing in subjects (Parra-Olea et al. 2020).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Mexico

 

View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
This species is known from Cruz Blanca and Las Vigas in Veracruz, Mexico at elevations between 2,200 - 2,450 m. Their habitat is defined as mossy pine forests. Recently collected specimens have been found under logs in disturbed pine forest (Parra-Olea et al. 2020).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Chiropterotriton totonacus is terrestrial and can be found under logs in disturbed pine forest (Parra-Olea et al. 2020).

Trends and Threats
As of 2020, the habitat of the C. totonacus is being threatened by deforestation and fragmentation through logging activities. The pine forest by Las Vigas de Ramirez has been reduced to small fragments. Another pine forest near Cruz Blanca is experiencing deforestation and it is the only location where C. totonacus can be found. There is another pine forest nearby called Bosque Estatal San Juan del Monte that has managed to remain intact but C. totonacus has not been found in this forest. It is even recommended that C. totonacus be classified as “Critically Endangered” (Parra-Olea et al. 2020).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

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

Comments
Based on Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian analyses of L2 and COI mtDNA sequences C. totonacus is most likely sister to the clade composed of C. ceronorumm, C. lavae, and C. perotensis (Parra-Olea et al. 2020).

The specific epithet, “totonacus,” refers to the group of indigenous people known as the Totonac, which reside in the central region of Veracruz where C. totonacus is found (Parra-Olea et al. 2020).

References

Parra Olea, G., Garcia-Castillo, M. G., Rovito, S. M., Maisano, J. A., Hanken, J., Wake, D. B. (2020). “Descriptions of five new species of the salamander genus Chiropterotriton (Caudata: Plethodontidae) from eastern Mexico and the status of three currently recognized taxa.” PeerJ, 8:e8800 [link]



Originally submitted by: Dylan Zuver, Guadalupe Quintana, Sherre Abraham (2021-08-16)
Description by: Dylan Zuver, Guadalupe Quintana, Sherre Abraham (updated 2021-08-16)
Distribution by: Dylan Zuver, Guadalupe Quintana, Sherre Abraham (updated 2021-08-16)
Life history by: Dylan Zuver, Guadalupe Quintana, Sherre Abraham (updated 2021-08-16)
Trends and threats by: Dylan Zuver, Guadalupe Quintana, Sherre Abraham (updated 2021-08-16)
Comments by: Dylan Zuver, Guadalupe Quintana, Sherre Abraham (updated 2021-08-16)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2021-08-16)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2021 Chiropterotriton totonacus: Cruz Blanca Salamander <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/9195> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Oct 16, 2021.



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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2021. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 16 Oct 2021.

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