AmphibiaWeb - Nototriton picucha


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Nototriton picucha Townsend, Medina-Flores, Murillo & Austin, 2011

Subgenus: Bryotriton
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Hemidactyliinae
genus: Nototriton
Species Description: Townsend JH, Medina-Flores Murillo JL, Austin JD 2011 Cryptic diversity in Chortis Highland moss salamanders (Caudata: Plethodontidae: Nototriton) revealed using mtDNA barcodes and phylogenetics, with a new species from eastern Honduras, Systematics and Biodiversity, 9:275-287

© 2013 Josiah H. Townsend (1 of 1)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Critically Endangered (CR)
National Status None
Regional Status None
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Description: A member of the Nototriton genus, Nototriton picucha exhibits many of the same characteristics as its closest relatives. It is of relatively small size, with a snout-vent length reaching between 25.7 and 27.9 mm. Its morphology is highly conserved, being of a slender build. Comparatively, this species has longer limbs (front limbs are .179 mm and hind limbs are .204-.218 mm) and a broader head than other members of its group. The head and snout are rounded. A nasolabial groove is present but underdeveloped. The eyes are large and protruding and the parotid glands, though apparent, are flat and inconspicuous. It has 13 costal grooves. The toes are well defined and lack webbing, but do exhibit subdigital pads. The feet and hands are rather slender as well, being longer than they are broad. This species has 41 maxillary teeth with between two and six notably large premaxillary teeth in line, with the maxillary bone and between 16 and 19 vomerine teeth. The tail is slightly longer than the body and has slight basal constriction, apparent only ventrally, and is mildly laterally compressed (Townsend et al. 2011).

Coloration: Dorsally, the species exhibits a medium-dark, reddish-brown ground color on the head, body, and tail. Pale yellow blotches are concentrated mostly on the head, around the snout and eyes, and between the eyes and on the parotid glands. The blotches appear towards the termination of the tail until they completely encompass the distal third of the tail. This species also has yellow-brown herringbone patterns and shows dorsolateral stripes, extending from the hind legs to the tail. Ventrally, the species has a dark, blackish-gray color with some sporadic gray spotting. Pale-yellow coloration wraps around the dorsal side onto the ventral tail and the cloaca. The proximal two-thirds of the limbs also exhibit the same pale-yellow coloration (Townsend et al. 2011).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Honduras


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
This species is found in the Lower Montane Wet Forest formation northwest of Cerro La Picucha in the Sierra de Agalta. The Parque Nacional Sierra de Agalta, in which the mountain is located, is situated some 180 km northeast of Tegucigalpa in the Chortis Highlands of Eastern Honduras. It was found at elevations between 1890-1930 m above sea level and lives primarily in underbrush, moss mats, deep leaf litter, and rotten logs (Townsend et al. 2011).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This species is cryptic and difficult to find, given its coloration and habitat. Specimens were collected at night and exhibited nocturnal tendencies (Townsend et al. 2011).

Trends and Threats
This species occurs in the Parque Nacional Sierra de Agalta, an area set aside to be protected. Its distribution is entirely restricted to this mountain range (Townsend et al. 2011).

This species was distinguished from others based on 16s and cyt B genetic sequencing (Townsend et al. 2011).

It was named after the mountain on which it was discovered (Townsend et al. 2011).


Townsend, J. H., Medina-Flores, M., Murillo, J.L., Austin, J.D. (2011). ''Cryptic diversity in Chortis Highland moss salamanders (Caudata: Plethodontidae: Nototriton) revealed using mtDNA barcodes and phylogenetics, with a new species from eastern Honduras.'' Systematics and Biodiversity , 9(3), 275-287.

Originally submitted by: Sally Westcott (first posted 2011-11-15)
Edited by: Brent Nguyen (2012-04-10)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2012 Nototriton picucha <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Sep 22, 2023.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 22 Sep 2023.

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