Hynobius yangi is most easily confused with another similar species, Hynobius leechii, though there are a few characteristics that distinguish both species. Hynobius yangi has a proportionately longer and higher placed tail, longer distance between adpressed limbs, a coiled egg sac, a light brown back, and is genetically distinct from H. leechii. It can be differentiatiated from H. quelpaertensis from its shorter snout-to-vent length, shorter body, higher number of costal grooves, proportionately longer and higher placed tail, proportionately broader head, higher number of costal grooves, and shorter distance between adpressed limbs. It differs from H. tsuensis by its shorter snout-to-vent length, higher placed tail, and its back is not covered in spots. It differs from H. nebulosus by its shorter snout-to-vent length, smaller number of costal grooves, shorter distance between adpressed limbs, and it does not have light yellow striping by the top or base of the tail. Furthermore, the vomerine teeth of H. yangi is V-shaped, whereas the vomerine teeth in all the other aforementioned species are also V-shaped, but both ends of the V jut out at an angle away from the center (Kim et al. 2003).
In life, H. yangi typically has a smooth, olive green back without distinct markings, though some individuals may have a darker brown back mottled with small, yellow specks. The underside of the salamander has a similar, but lighter, coloration. When preserved in alcohol, the backside of the H. yangi specimen turns gray in color (Kim et al. 2003).
Aside from the aforementioned color variation, there is variation in the relative sizes of body parts. Males have proportionately larger heads than females, though females have proportionately longer bodies than males. Males have proportionately longer and higher placed tails than females (Kim et al. 2003).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Korea, Republic of
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Trends and Threats
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Hynobius yangi is part of the H. nebulosus species complex, which includes H. nebulosus, H. leechii, H. tsuensis, and H. quelpaertensis. Two monophyletic clades have been identified in the Hynobius species of Korea, with one containing both H. leechii and H. yangi as sister groups. This phylogeny was based on the mtDNA genes, cytochrome b and 12S rRNA, using maximum likelihood estimates and Bayesian interferences (Baek et al. 2011). However, nuclear data (Ldh-1, Ldh-2, Gp-2, Xdh-2, and Aat-2) also supports this species' validity (Kim et al. 2003).
The species epithet yangi is in honor of Dr. Suh-Yung Yang, who has made great contributions to the current knowledge of animals from South Korea (Kim et al. 2003).
The karyotype of Hynobius yangi is 2N = 56. The whole mitochondrial genome has been sequenced, and is 16,403 bp long (Kim et al. 2003, Lee et al. 2011).
Baek, H. J., Lee, M. Y., Lee, H., Min, M. S. (2011). ''Mitochondrial DNA Data Unveil Highly Divergent Populations within the Genus Hynobius (Caudata: Hynobiidae) in South Korea.'' Molecules and Cells, 31, 105-112.
Kim, J. B., Min, M. S., Matsui, M. (2003). ''A new species of lentic breeding Korean salamander of the genus Hynobius (Amphibia, Urodela).'' Zoological Science, 20(9), 1163-1169.
Lee, B. H., Kim, J. Y., Song, S., Hur, J. M., Cho, J. Y., Park, Y. C. (2011). ''The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the Kori salamander Hynobius yangi (Caudata: Hynobiidae).'' Mitochondrial DNA, 22(5-6), 168-170.
Lee, J. H., Min, M. S., Kim, T. H., Bake, H. J., Lee, H., Park, D. (2010). ''Age structure and growth rates of two Korean salamander species (Hynobius yangi and Hynobius quelpaertensis) from field populations.'' Animal Cells and Systems, 14(4), 315-322.
Stuart, S. (2008). Hynobius yangi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded in June 2015.
Originally submitted by: Karissa Hansen (first posted 2015-07-14)
Edited by: Gordon Lau (2015-08-04)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2015 Hynobius yangi: Kori salamander <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/6217> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jan 27, 2022.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2022. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 27 Jan 2022.
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