La estrella (star) salamander
© 2010 Division of Herpetology, University of Kansas (1 of 1)
Description: This is a small and secretive plethodontid. The snout-vent length ranges from 25.3 mm to 28.3 mm (Bruce 1999). Total length can be up to 66 mm (Savage 2002). As a member of the genus Nototriton, N. picadoi has 14 costal grooves (Savage 2002). Males have elongated premaxillary teeth. The eyes are of moderate size and paratoid glands are present and usually light colored. In adult males, there is an indistinct mental gland present that appears as a shield-shaped dark area on the throat behind the lower jaw (Bruce 1999). The front and hind feet are fully differentiated with rounded tips and sub-terminal pads (Savage 2002). Many hatchlings show external gill remnants. Hatchlings have a dark body color with metallic brassy flecking on the back of the head, trunk and tail (Bruce 1998).
Hatchlings average 7.9 mm in SVL (snout-vent length) and mature between 20 mm and 23 mm in SVL, with females being slightly larger than males. Some hatchlings have been noted to show remnants of external gills. (Bruce 1999).
Coloration: The overall body color is brown. Irregular dorsolateral light yellow stripes are present from the occipital region and groin along the back and flanks (Savage 2002).
Coloration in Tadpoles: Distinct patches of orange on the side of the head behind the eyes were observed. An orange stripe has been observed on the mid-dorsum. There are dorsolateral stripes absent of flecking and below these are areas of high flecking, which form a cream colored stripe (Bruce 1998).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Costa Rica
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Trends and Threats
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Etymology: The species is named after Claudomiro Picado, who supplied the first observed specimen to Stejneger (Good and Wake 1993).
A Spanish-language species account can be found at the website of Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio).
Bruce, R. C. (1998). ''Nesting habits, eggs and hatchlings of the salamander Nototriton picadoi (Plethodontidae: Bolitoglossini).'' Herpetological Monographs, 54, 13-18.
Bruce, R. C. (1999). ''Life history attributes of a rare neotropical salamander, Nototriton picadoi (Plethodontidae: Bolitoglossini).'' Herpetological Review, 30, 76-78.
Good, D. A., and Wake, D. B. (1993). ''Systematic studies of the Costa Rican moss salamanders, genus Nototriton, with descriptions of three new species.'' Herpetological Monographs, 7, 131-159.
Savage, J. M. (2002). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica:a herpetofauna between two continents, between two seas. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, USA and London.
Stuart, S., Hoffmann, M., Chanson, J., Cox, N., Berridge, R., Ramani, P., Young, B. (eds) (2008). Threatened Amphibians of the World. Lynx Edicions, IUCN, and Conservation International, Barcelona, Spain; Gland, Switzerland; and Arlington, Virginia, USA.
Originally submitted by: Brooke Bivens, Alycia Fratzke, Diana Kimbrough (first posted 2009-11-02)
Edited by: Mingna (Vicky) Zhuang (2012-02-23)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2012 Nototriton picadoi: La estrella (star) salamander <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/4093> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Sep 17, 2021.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2021. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 17 Sep 2021.
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