AmphibiaWeb - Liua tsinpaensis


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Liua tsinpaensis (Liu & Hu, 1966)
Tsinpa Salamander
Subgenus: Tsinpa
family: Hynobiidae
subfamily: Hynobiinae
genus: Liua
Taxonomic Notes: Placed in Pseudohynobius by Fei, Ye, Jiang 2012 Colored Atlas of Chinese Amphibians and their Distributions, who ignored Zhang et al. 2006 PNAS and Zheng et al. 2011 Mol Biol Evol 28:2521-2535. Dubois & Raffaelli 2012 Alytes also ignored these studies and erected a monotypic genus Tsinpa for this species.

AmphibiaChina 中国两栖类.

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Vulnerable (VU)
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (1 records).

Liua tsinpaensis adult total length ranges from 125-136 mm, with SVL 64-68 mm. Head is round and flat, of equal length and width. No labial fold. Vomerine teeth short, with 7-10 on each side. Body is cylindrical in shape and covered with smooth skin. 13 costal grooves are present. Tips of forelimb and hindlimb toes touch when limbs are adpressed to the flank. There are four unwebbed toes on each forelimb and five unwebbed toes on each hindlimb. Tail is shorter than SVL length, thick and flattened. Tailfin fold is only noticeable at the pointy tip of the tail (Fei and Ye 2000).

For adult salamanders, gold and dark brown interweave dorsally to create irregular, cloudlike patterns. Brown ventral side is sporadically blotted with tiny white dots (Fei and Ye 2000).

Liua tsinpaensis larvae have a light brown head and dorsum, with black blotches and patterns. Tail fin fold displays various sized black patches. Flank is silverish white in color, and ventrum is completely white. Limbs are light brown. Toes on both forelimbs and hindlimbs are black at the tips (Fei and Ye 2000).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: China


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (1 records).
Found in China, in the provinces of Sichuan (Wanyuan County), and Shaanxi (Zhouzhi and Ningshaan Counties). It is known only from three locations. This species is found in mountain ranges at 1700 m above sea level. During the day Liua tsinpaensis hides under rocks near mountain creeks (Fei and Ye 2000).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Breeding occurs in the mouth of montane streams and larval development takes place in the water (IUCN 2008). Oviposition occurs during May and June. The female lays a pair of egg sacs, with 6-11 eggs in each egg sac, 13 - 20 eggs in total. The egg case in its natural folded position measures 39-79 mm in length, 122-195 mm when stretched out, and 10-11 mm in diameter. Eggs are oval-shaped, 5 mm in diameter, and light gray in coloration. Larvae go through metamorphosis when they reach 60 mm in length (Fei and Ye 2000).

This species is rare (Fei and Ye 2000).

Trends and Threats
Threatened by collection for food and medicine, and habitat loss and degradation due to increased agriculture. This species occurs within two protected areas, Taibaishan National Nature Reserve and Zhouzhi National Nature Reserve (IUCN 2008).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Intentional mortality (over-harvesting, pet trade or collecting)


Fei, L. and Ye, C. (2001). The Colour Handbook of the Amphibians of Sichuan. Chinese Forestry Publishing House, Beijing.

IUCN (2008). 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 10 October 2008.

Originally submitted by: Michael Li (first posted 2008-10-10)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2008-11-11)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Liua tsinpaensis: Tsinpa Salamander <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 22, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 22 May 2024.

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