AmphibiaWeb - Hynobiidae
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Hynobiidae

86 species in 9 genera

Commonly Called Asian Salamanders


Paradactylodon mustersi
Photo by Max Sparreboom
(Click for family gallery)

Small to medium size (with Ranodon reaching up to 200 mm) terrestrial or aquatic salamanders that are distributed in Asia, with one species entering European Russia. All species have external fertilization and aquatic larvae. Hynobiids are the sister taxon of the Cryptobranchidae, and together they are the sister taxon of all other salamanders.

Members of this assemblage are divided into two subfamilies, the Onychodactyliini (Onychodactylus) and Hynobiinae (all others). Larvae metamorphose completely into adults with eye lids and no gill slits. Onychodactylus (which also lacks lungs), Liua shihi, and a few Batrachuperus have claws or horny covers on their hands allowing them to grasp onto slippery rocks in their fast stream habitats. Externally, most species have a generalized tetrapod morphology but species of Onychodactylus, in particular, have long legs and a long tail. Vomerine teeth (located on the roof of the mouth) are useful characters in distinguishing species and genera from one another. Hynobius retardatus, as well as other species, have displayed a cannibalistic larvae morphology in which they develop wider heads and may eat salamander (and frog) larvae. There are no derived morphological features (synapomorphies) for this group, but they do share some characters.

Written by AmphibiaWeb

Notable Family Characteristics

  • Both terrestrial and aquatic species
  • Metamorphosis complete; adults lack gill slits
  • Some morphological characters include: 1) septomaxillae present; 2) lacrimal present; 3) vomerine teeth not parallel to marginal teeth row; 4) ribs unicapitate; 5) eyelids present; 6)reduced or absent lungs (Onychodactylus) .
  • External fertilization, mating usually aquatic
  • Distribution from eastern Europe through Asia, western Asia to Japan and Korea
Hynobiidae Richness map

Cartography Credit: Zoe Yoo, UC Berkeley
Range maps sources: AmphibiaWeb, UC Berkeley, and IUCN RedList

Relevant Reference

Fei, L., C.-y. Ye, and J.-p. Jiang. 2012. Colored Atlas of Chinese Amphibians and Their Distributions. Sichuan, China: Sichuan Publishing House of Science & Technology.

Subfamily Hynobiinae (76 species)

Genus Batrachuperus (7 species)    [subfamily Hynobiinae]
Batrachuperus (Batrachuperus) karlschmidti no account photos no sound/video
Batrachuperus (Batrachuperus) londongensis no account photos no sound/video
Batrachuperus (Batrachuperus) pinchonii account photos no sound/video
Batrachuperus (Batrachuperus) tibetanus account photos no sound/video
Batrachuperus (Hynobiinae) taibaiensis no account no photos no sound/video
Batrachuperus (Tibetuperus) daochengensis no account no photos no sound/video
Batrachuperus (Tibetuperus) yenyuanensis account no photos no sound/video

Genus Hynobius (55 species)    [subfamily Hynobiinae]
Hynobius turkestanicus account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) abei account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) abuensis no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) akiensis no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) amakusaensis no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) amjiensis account photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) bakan no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) chinensis account photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) dunni account photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) geojeensis no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) guabangshanensis no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) guttatus no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) hidamontanus account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) hirosei no account photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) ikioi account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) iwami no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) katoi account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) kuishiensis no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) leechii account photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) lichenatus account photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) maoershanensis no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) mikawaensis no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) naevius account photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) nebulosus account photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) nigrescens account photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) notialis no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) okiensis account photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) osumiensis no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) oyamai no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) perplicatus no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) quelpaertensis no account photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) sematonotus no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) setoi no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) setouchi no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) shinichisatoi account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) stejnegeri account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) takedai account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) tokyoensis account photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) tosashimizuensis no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) tsuensis account photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) tsurugiensis no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) unisacculus account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) utsunomiyaorum no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) vandenburghi no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) yangi account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Hynobius) yiwuensis no account photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Pachypalaminus) boulengeri account photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Pachypalaminus) fossigenus no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Pachypalaminus) kimurae account photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Poyarius) arisanensis no account photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Poyarius) formosanus account photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Poyarius) fucus account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Poyarius) glacialis account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Poyarius) sonani no account no photos no sound/video
Hynobius (Satobius) retardatus account photos no sound/video

Genus Liua (2 species)    [subfamily Hynobiinae]
Liua (Liua) shihi account photos no sound/video
Liua (Tsinpa) tsinpaensis account no photos no sound/video

Genus Pachyhynobius (1 species)    [subfamily Hynobiinae]
Pachyhynobius shangchengensis account photos no sound/video

Genus Paradactylodon (2 species)    [subfamily Hynobiinae]
Paradactylodon (Afghanodon) mustersi account photos no sound/video
Paradactylodon (Paradactylodon) persicus account photos no sound/video

Genus Pseudohynobius (6 species)    [subfamily Hynobiinae]
Pseudohynobius (Protohynobius) puxiongensis account no photos no sound/video
Pseudohynobius (Pseudohynobius) flavomaculatus account no photos no sound/video
Pseudohynobius (Pseudohynobius) guizhouensis no account no photos no sound/video
Pseudohynobius (Pseudohynobius) jinfo account no photos no sound/video
Pseudohynobius (Pseudohynobius) kuankuoshuiensis no account no photos no sound/video
Pseudohynobius (Pseudohynobius) shuichengensis no account no photos no sound/video

Genus Ranodon (1 species)    [subfamily Hynobiinae]
Ranodon sibiricus account photos no sound/video

Genus Salamandrella (2 species)    [subfamily Hynobiinae]
Salamandrella keyserlingii account photos no sound/video
Salamandrella tridactyla no account no photos no sound/video
Subfamily Onychodactylinae (10 species)

Genus Onychodactylus (10 species)    [subfamily Onychodactylinae]
Onychodactylus (Geomolge) fischeri account photos no sound/video
Onychodactylus (Onychodactylus) fuscus no account no photos no sound/video
Onychodactylus (Onychodactylus) intermedius no account no photos no sound/video
Onychodactylus (Onychodactylus) japonicus account photos no sound/video
Onychodactylus (Onychodactylus) kinneburi account photos no sound/video
Onychodactylus (Onychodactylus) koreanus account photos no sound/video
Onychodactylus (Onychodactylus) nipponoborealis no account photos no sound/video
Onychodactylus (Onychodactylus) tsukubaensis account photos no sound/video
Onychodactylus (Onychodactylus) zhangyapingi no account no photos no sound/video
Onychodactylus (Onychodactylus) zhaoermii no account no photos no sound/video


Citation: AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. Available: https://amphibiaweb.org/. (Accessed:

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