AmphibiaWeb - Thorius magnipes


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Thorius magnipes Hanken & Wake, 1998
Big-footed Thorius
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Hemidactyliinae
genus: Thorius
Thorius magnipes
© 2016 David Wake (1 of 2)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Critically Endangered (CR)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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This is a moderately sized species; adult standard length averages 23.0 mm in 12 males (range 20.6-26.9) and 21.8 mm in 16 females (range 18.2-24.4). The head is moderately wide; SL averages 7.2 times head width in males (range 6.7-7.8) and 7.3 times head width in females (range 6.5-8.4). Snouts are bluntly pointed in most adults but truncated in some males. Nostrils are very large, elongate, and prominent; the mean ratio of major axis to minor axis equals 1.4 in males (range 1.1-1.6) and 1.5 in females (range 1.3-2.3). Eyes are prominent and protrude beyond the margin of the jaw in dorsal view. A suborbital groove intersects the lip on each side of the head. There are two premaxillary teeth in each of three adult males and 4-8 (mean 6.7) vomerine teeth; these teeth could not be counted in the lone cleared-and-stained female paratype, which has a damaged head. There are no maxillary teeth. Limbs are extremely long; limb interval averages 2.4 in males (range 1.5-3) and 2.9 in females (range 2-4). Hands and feet are large and broad. Digits are widely spread and free at their tips; the three longest fingers and four longest toes have conspicuous subdigital pads. Fingers, in order of decreasing length, are 3-2-4-1; toes are 3-4-2-5-1. The tail is long and slender and typically exceeds standard length; mean SL divided by tail length equals 0.85 in males (range 0.79-0.90) and 0.90 in females (range 0.75-1.13). The mental gland is unpigmented; the postiliac gland is obscure in most specimens.

The dorsal color is variable; most specimens have a copper-to-gold dorsal stripe with a conspicuous herringbone pattern of darker markings, whereas others are nearly solid brownish-black with brassy flecks. The venter is relatively dark with a strong marking of ventral guanophores. The iris is gray brown (Hanken and Wake 1998).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Mexico

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Thorius magnipes is known from the vicinity of the type locality, which is ca. 3 km W of the village of Acultzingo, Veracruz, Mexico, and from near the village of San Felipe, Puebla, several kilometers to the southeast (e.g., MVZ 150541-42). All known localities lie within Veracruz but are very close to the border with Puebla. The predominant vegetation type is pine-oak cloud forest, which is characteristic of these and other localities that lie along the southeastern edge of the Mexican plateau. Recorded elevations range from 2475 to 2800 m. All specimens from the type locality were collected in arboreal microhabitats, e.g., bromeliad leaf axils. Specimens from near San Felipe were taken on the ground under rocks and litter, and inside piles of wood chips (field notes of J. E. Cadle, 11 July 1977) (Hanken and Wake 1998).

Etymology. The species name is a conjunction of two Latin words, magnus (great) and pes (a foot), in reference to the very large feet and limbs, which readily distinguish this species from all congeners(Hanken and Wake 1998).


Hanken, J. and Wake, D. B. (1998). ''Biology of the tiny animals: Systematics of the minute salamanders (Thorius: Plethodontidae) from Veracruz and Puebla, Mexico, with descriptions of five new species.'' Copeia, 1998(2), 312-345.

Originally submitted by: David B. Wake (first posted 2000-11-08)
Edited by: Arie van der Meijden and M. J. Mahoney (2002-02-17)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2002 Thorius magnipes: Big-footed Thorius <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 21, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 21 Jul 2024.

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