AmphibiaWeb - Tylototriton shanorum


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Tylototriton shanorum Nishikawa, Matsui & Rao, 2014
Taunggyi Crocodile Newt
Subgenus: Tylototriton
family: Salamandridae
subfamily: Pleurodelinae
genus: Tylototriton
Species Description: Nishikawa K, Matsui M, Rao D 2014 A new species of Tylototriton (Amphibia: Urodela: Salamandridae) from central Myanmar. Nat Hist Bull Siam Soc 60: 9-22.

© 2019 Axel Hernandez (1 of 1)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Vulnerable (VU)
CITES Appendix II
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

The original description of Tylototriton shanorum is based on one adult male and two adult females. The snout-vent length of these medium to large, stout-bodied specimens were 76.0 mm for the male and 76.5 mm and 87.9 mm for the females. They have a hexagonal-shaped head that is wider than long and flattened in the profile view with a short, truncated snout that just protrudes over the lower jaw. The nostril is close to the tip of the snout. There are no labial folds. Tylototriton shanorum has two wide, mildly pronounced dorsolateral bony ridges on their heads that extend laterally from the snout to just before the parotoid. The posterior ends of the bony ridges scroll slightly towards the mid-line where a mid-dorsal ridge on the head also mildly protrudes. There is a gular fold. There is a narrow vertebral ridge that is weakly segmented running the length of their backs from the neck to the base of the tail and that is slightly separated from the mid-dorsal ridge of the head. The species has 14 small but distinct wart-like rib nodules on each of its sides that are the largest in size in the middle of the trunk. The laterally compressed tail is about the same length as the snout-vent length and has a dorsal fin that becomes more pronounced toward the tip. The tip of the tail is pointed and the ventral edge is smooth. Their forelimbs are long and thin, with the forelimbs being 34.7 - 37.0% snout-vent length and the hind limbs being 35.6 - 37.2% snout-vent length. The fingers and toes do not have webbing. When the limbs are held against the body, the tips of the forelimbs greatly overlap the hind limbs. The skin of the dorsum is densely covered in fine granules. On the ventrum, fine granules are found in transverse strips along the mid-ventrum and on the throat where they are small and scarce (Nishikawa et al. 2014).

Tylototriton shanorum can be differentiated from members of the subgenus Yaotriton by the former having color on the lip, parotoid, vertebral ridge, ribe nodules, limbs, and the lateral sides of the tail. Within the subgenus Tylototriton, which T. shanorum is a member of, it can be differentiated from T. daweishanesis and T. v. verrucosus because the former has ventral markings while the two latter species do not. However, darker specimens of the focal species can also be further distinguished by having a narrow, weakly segmented dorsal ridge and more indistinct dorsolateral bony ridges on the head. From T. kweichowensis and T. pseudoverrucosus our focal species can be differentiated by having isolated markings on its rib nodules. From T. taliangensis our focal species can be differentiated by having distinct rib nodules and not having reddish markings on the posterior sides of the parotoids. The color of T. shanorum is duller than T. uyenoi, T. v. pulcherrima, and T. yangi, however bright-colored individuals of the focal species can be differentiated from T. uyenoi by having deep vomerine tooth series (Nishikawa et al. 2014). Tylototriton shanorum has 14 dorsal warts, which is two less than T. himalayanus. Tylotriton shanorum also has a smaller snout-vent length and greater head width to length ratio than T. himalayanus (Khatiwada et al. 2015).

In alcohol, T. shanorum has a dark brown to black dorsal ground color and is slightly lighter on the ventrum. The anterior region of the head, parotoid, vertebral ridge, rib nodules, limbs, and lateral sides of tail are a dull reddish brown color. The upper and lower lips, palms and soles, vent region, and ventral side of tail are dark yellow (Nishikawa et al. 2014).

Two juveniles that were bred in captivity and collected from the pet trade were initially suspected to be T. shanging but were later reclassified as T. shanorum based on molecular data (see Comments section). Like the adults they had dark brown to black dorsums with lighter ventrums. However, they had a brighter yellow color on the dorsal head, upper and lower lips, parotoid, vertebral ridge, rib nodules, limbs, palm and sole, vent region, and whole tail. It is unclear if this description is based on life or in preservative (Nishikawa et al. 2014).

The male specimen had a more robust body, longer tail, and longer vent slit than the females specimens. Across sex, the development and prominence of the bony ridges may vary, with females having less prominent rib nodules with more granules than males. The coloration is fairly consistent, but the brightness of the yellow can vary (Nishikawa et al. 2014).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Myanmar


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Tylototriton shanorum has been found only in Tuanggyi, Shan State, Myanmar near lentic bodies of water at an elevation of around 14,000 meters (Nishikawa et al. 2014).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Tylototriton shanorum is a relatively rare species with so few collected specimens that information on general trends and life history are limited. However, mature ova found in one female specimen measured 1.5 - 2.0 mm diameter and, in preservative, the animal pole was dark brown while the rest of the egg was cream white. The clutch size is unknown. Like all species of Tylototriton, T. shanorum tends to be found near shallow ponds or wetlands because they require still bodies of water in order to breed (Nishikawa et al. 2014).

Trends and Threats
Tylototriton shanorum is actively taken from the wild for pet trade. The species is a likely carrier of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, the deadly chytrid fungus that targets salamanders, and is therefore not allowed to be moved internationally. Any other threats to the T. shanorum remain unknown (Nishikawa et al. 2014, USFW 2016).

Relation to Humans
Various species of Tylototriton is used extensively for traditional medicine. Tylototriton shanorum has been found in pet-trade in Japan and captive breeding is already known for the species. Recent laws have been constructed to prevent this (Nishikawa et al. 2014, Phimmachak et al. 2015).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

Intentional mortality (over-harvesting, pet trade or collecting)

The species authority is: Nishikawa, K., Matsui, M., Rao, D. (2014). "A New Species of Tylototriton (Amphibia: Urodela: Salamandridae) From Central Myanmar.” Natural History Bulletin of the Siam Society 60(1):9-22

Tylototriton shanorum is in the family Salamandridae in the Class Urodela. It falls into the subgenus Tylototriton and is sister to T. v. verrucosus from Nepal based on Maximum Likelihood analysis of partial ND2 gene sequences (Nishikawa et al. 2014).

Tylototriton shanorum was previously classified as T. v. verrucosus (Nishikawa et al. 2014).

The specific epithet comes from the people of Shan State, which is where the species was found (Nishikawa et al. 2014).


Khatiwada, J.R., Wang, B., Ghimire, S., Vasudevan, K., Paudel, S., Jiang. J. (2015). ''A New Species of the Genus Tylotriton (Amphibia: Urodela: Salamandridae) from Eastern Himalaya.'' Asian Herpetological Research, 6(4), 245-256.

Nishikawa, K., Matsui, M., Rao, D. (2014). ''A new species of Tylototriton (Amphibia: Urodela: Salamandridae) from central Myanmar.'' Natural History Bulletin of the Siam Society, 60(1), 9-22. [link]

Phimmachak, S., Aowphol, A., Stuart, B.L. (2015). ''Morphological and molecular variation in Tylototriton (Caudata: Salamandridae) in Laos, with description of a new species.'' Zootaxa, 4006(2), 285-310.

USFWS. 2016. Salamander Species Listed as Injurious Wildlife Under 50 CFR 16.14 Due to Risk of Salamander Chytrid Fungus. Rep. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 28 Jan. 2016. Accessed 30 Mar. 2016. From

Originally submitted by: Grace Dougherty (first posted 2016-07-05)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2016-07-06)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2016 Tylototriton shanorum: Taunggyi Crocodile Newt <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 20, 2024.

Feedback or comments about this page.


Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 20 May 2024.

AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.