Pachytriton xanthospilos Wu, Wang & Hanken, 2012
|Species Description: Wu, Y., Wang, Y., Hanken, J., 2012. New species of Pachytriton (Caudata: Salamandridae) from the Nanling mountain range, southeastern China. Zootaxa 3388, 1–16. Revalidated by Wu & Murphy 2015 Mol Phylog Evol 92: 108–117|
Taxonomic Notes: This species was described a few days after Pachytriton changi, but with exact locality data from specimens collected by Wu. Nishikawa et al. (2013, Current Herpetology 32: 150-158) argue that P. xanthospilos should be considered a junior synonym of P. changi. However, Wu and Murphy (2015 Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 92: 108-117) recognize P. xanthospilos, arguing that it differs from the generally unknowable P. changi.
© 2016 Axel Hernandez (1 of 1)
Pachytriton xanthospilos has a more robust body than P. feii and longer limbs than P. brevipes (Wu et al. 2012).
In life, most P. xanthospilos have uniformly light brown dorsums with large dorsolateral orange splotches. However, some individuals may appear as darker shades of brown or predominantly orange in color. Orange splotches may also be present on the head. In preservative, P. xanthospilos' brown dorsum darkens but may be lighter on the head. The tail has a thin pale gold edge on the dorsal fin. The orange splotches become yellowish-gold from head to vent, which is lighter near the head and grows darker near the belly. The ventral side of the tail has a solid pale gold stripe. Juveniles present the same coloration as adults (Wu et al. 2012).
Males P. xanthospilos have larger and mildly swollen cloacas with papillae lining the walls. Juveniles have a larger tongue than adults, suggesting possible different diets. Variation in overall body color is also present with dorsolateral spots varying in size from small to large, and ventral coloration ranging from brown with orange blotches to completely orange. The edges of the ventral blotches are more defined in smaller individuals and more diffuse in larger individuals (Wu et al 2012).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: China
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Pachytriton xanthospilos lives in sympatry with the tadpoles of Leptobrachium liui (Wu et al. 2012).
The breeding season is unknown in P. xanthospilos, although in the closely related species P. feii, which lives in a very similar habitat to P. xanthospilos, it is postulated to occur between late spring and early summer (Nishikawa et al. 2011). This may also be the case for P. xanthospilos.
Trends and Threats
Relation to Humans
The phylogenetic relationships of Pachytriton was determined from Bayesian Inference and Maximum Likelihood analyses using two fragments of mitochondrial DNA that include the complete coding sequence of NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2, cytochrome b, and flanking tRNAs. These results support that the clade formed by P. brevipes and P. feii is sister to P. xanthospilos (Wu et al. 2012).
The species epithet, “xanthospilos” is a reference to the patterning on the dorsolateral side of the body with “xanth” meaning “orange and “spil” meaning “spot” (Wu et al. 2012).
OTHER INTERESTING INFORMATION:
Pachytriton xanthospilos was originally discovered in the European pet trade and labeled simply based on morphology as Pachytriton B. Due to a lack of field and molecular data, the specimen was not identified as a species of its own until museum specimens from 1975 and new specimens from field surveys were added to the type series to describe P. xanthospilos (Wu et al. 2012).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. (2020). "Pachytriton xanthospilos." The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T89100526A122177570. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T89100526A122177570.en. Accessed on 22 February 2022.
Nishikawa, K., Jiang, J.P., Matsui, M. (2011). "Two new species of Pachytriton from Anhui and Guangki, China (Amphibia: Urodela: Salamandridae)." Current Herpetology, 30, 15-31. [link]
Wu, Y., Wang, Y., Hanken, J. (2012). “New species of Pachytriton (Caudata: Salamandridae) from the Nanling Mountain Range, southeastern China.” ZooTaxa, 3388(1), 1-16. [link]
Originally submitted by: Carlee Hesler, Sarah Laurino, Talea Trimingham (2022-06-06)
Description by: Carlee Hesler, Sarah Laurino, Talea Trimingham (updated 2022-06-06)
Distribution by: Carlee Hesler, Sarah Laurino, Talea Trimingham (updated 2022-06-06)
Life history by: Carlee Hesler, Sarah Laurino, Talea Trimingham (updated 2022-06-06)
Trends and threats by: Carlee Hesler, Sarah Laurino, Talea Trimingham (updated 2022-06-06)
Relation to humans by: Carlee Hesler, Sarah Laurino, Talea Trimingham (updated 2022-06-06)
Comments by: Carlee Hesler, Sarah Laurino, Talea Trimingham (updated 2022-06-06)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2022-06-06)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Pachytriton xanthospilos <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/8358> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 23, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 23 Mar 2023.
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