Karsenia koreana Min, Yang, Bonett, Vieites, Brandon & Wake, 2005
Korean Crevice Salamander, Ikkee dorongyong
|Species Description: Min MS, Yang SY, Bonett RM, Vieites DR, Brandon RA, Wake DB 2005 Discovery of the first Asian plethodontid salamander. Nature 435:87-90|
© 2009 Hyun-tae Kim (1 of 9)
Karsenia koreana is a plethodontid salamander, all of which do not have lungs or a pterygoid bone, but have many paravomerine teeth and a nasolabial groove. Practically, K. koreana can be differentiated from other plethodontids because it is the only member of the family found in Asia. Morphologically, the genus Plethodon diverges from other plethodontid genera in ankle morphology. The genera Aneides and Chiropterotriton have a relatively larger 5th distal tarsal that articulates with the centrale while the 4th distal tarsal is small and separated from the fibulare by d5. Karsenia differs from both genera with its paired premaxillaries, small hands and feet, short digits, a tongue attached to the front of the mouth, and epibranchials shorter than the ceratobranchials. Karsenia koreana resembles species of Plethodon, especially ones from western North America, but is smaller and shorter-bodied. It has less prominent jaw muscles compared to species from northwestern California and southwestern Oregon, while its hands and feet are highly similar. The paired premaxillae and skull roof are similar to the western Plethodon while its tarsus and vomer resemble Aneides; however, it has less swollen jaw muscles and shorter toes (Min et al. 2005).
In life, the general coloration is dark, especially along the flanks, but with a dorsal reddish or brownish stripe that extends from the tip of the snout and all along the body and tail. The stripe is most vivid in the pelvic and tail base region. The venter is gray, lighter than the flanks (Min et al. 2005).
According to Song et al. (2017), the snout-vent length, an aspect of sexual dimorphism, was smaller on average for males than for females. Also, differences in body size result from maturity of males at a younger age and shorter longevity. In other words, males are sexually mature at smaller sizes than females.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Korea, Republic of
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The species appears to be relatively abundant, locally (Song et al. 2017). And a large population of K. koreana was found along the west border of Daejeon (Borzée et al. 2019).
Researchers have not yet observed courtship behavior or the development processes – thus, its life history is only presumed by looking into closely related species, including Hydromantes, Atylodes, Speleomantes, and Aneides (Song et al. 2017).
Males mature more rapidly, causing their adult form to be smaller in size than that of females (Song et al. 2017).
Trends and Threats
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Bayesian Inference and Maximum Likelihood analyses of RAG-1 nDNA show strong support for Karsenia to be sister to the Aneides, Desmognathus and Phaeognathus genera (Min et al. 2005).
This species was discovered 34 years before its description; a specimen has been found in the collection of the Institute for Amphibian Biology, Hiroshima University, Japan, that was collected in 1971 from Mt. Gyeryong by a joint Korean-Japanese team (Nishikawa 2009).
Karyotype is 2N=28, with all 14 chromosomes bi-armed and no heteromorphic sex chromosomes. C-banding shows that heterochromatin is concentrated mainly at the centromeres. The genome is large; around 53.5 pg (Sessions et al. 2008).
Borzée, A, Andersen, D, Groffen, J, Kim, H-T, Bae, Y, Jang, Y (2019). "climate change-based models predict range shifts in the distribution of the only Asian plethodontid salamander: Karsenia koreana." Scientific Reports , 9, 11838. [link]
Min, M.S., Yang, S.Y., Bonett, R.M., Vieites, D.R., Brandon, R.A., and Wake, D.B. (2005). ''Discovery of the first Asian plethodontid salamander.'' Nature, 435, 87-90.
Nishikawa, K. (28). ''The first specimen of Karsenia koreana (Caudata: Plethodontidae) collected 34 years before its descript.'' Current Herpetology, (27-28).
Sessions, S. K., Stöck, M., Vieites, D. R., Quarles, R., Min, M.-S., and Wake, D. B. (2008). ''Cytogenetic analysis of the Asian plethodontid salamander, Karsenia koreana: evidence for karyotypic conservation, chromosome repatterning, and genome size evolution.'' Chromosome Research, 16, 563-574.
Song, J-Y, Matsui, M, Matsuki, T, Nishikawa, K, Koo, K-S, Oh, H-S (2017). "Life History of a Unique Asian Plethodontid Salamander, Karsenia koreana." Zoological Science , 34(2), 122-128. [link]
Originally submitted by: David B. Wake (first posted 2005-05-04)
Description by: Ariel Lee (updated 2023-01-26)
Distribution by: Ariel Lee (updated 2023-01-26)
Life history by: Ariel Lee (updated 2023-01-26)
Larva by: Ariel Lee (updated 2023-01-26)
Trends and threats by: Ariel Lee (updated 2023-01-26)
Comments by: Ariel Lee (updated 2023-01-26)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker, Ann T. Chang (2023-01-26)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Karsenia koreana: Korean Crevice Salamander <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/6429> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Nov 30, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 30 Nov 2023.
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