AmphibiaWeb - Bolitoglossa subpalmata


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Bolitoglossa subpalmata (Boulenger, 1896)
La Palma Salamander
Subgenus: Eladinea
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Hemidactyliinae
genus: Bolitoglossa

© 2013 Eduardo Boza Oviedo (1 of 8)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (1 records).


Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Costa Rica


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (1 records).
The Bolitoglossa subpalmata clade occurs in the mountains of Costa Rica and extreme western Panama. These salamanders inhabit humid cloud forests and paramo-like habitats, at moderate to high elevation (1500m). Four clades within the main clade have been defined by allozyme and mtDNA data, and two disjunct geographic units have been categorized. The northern geographic unit, which comprises the species B. subpalmata (sensu stricto), includes populations ranging from Volcan Cacao to Volcan Turrialba, in the Cordillera Guanacaste, Cordillera de Tilaran, Cordillera Central, and Cordillera de Aguacate. The second unit is found in the Cordillera Talamanca, and runs from Cerros de Escazu in Costa Rica to Chiriqui in western Panama (Wake and Lynch 1976; Garcia-Paris et al. 2008).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The inferred incubation period is about 4-5 months.

Trends and Threats
This salamander is threatened from habitat loss and fragmentation due to increasing agricultural encroachment. It appears to be gone from Parque Nacional Poas and has become extremely rare at Monteverde. Declines that occur in more suitable habitat could be the result of other threats such as climate change or disease, possibly chytridiomycosis. However, chytridiomycosis normally impacts aquatic or semi-aquatic species (IUCN 2006).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Habitat fragmentation
Climate change, increased UVB or increased sensitivity to it, etc.


A phylogenetic study (maximum parsimony) based on sequences of mt-cytochrome b show that B. subpalmata may be sister to B. tica. These species are not sympatric (Garcia-Paris et al. 2008).

A Spanish-language species account can be found at the website of Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio).


Brame, A. H., Jr. and Wake, D. B. (1972). ''New species of salamanders (genus Bolitoglossa) from Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama.'' Contributions in Science, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 219, 1-34.

García-París, M., Parra-Olea, G., and Wake, D.B. (2008). ''Description of a new species of the Bolitoglossa subpalmata group (Caudata: Plethodontidae) from Costa Rica.'' Herpetological Journal, 18, 23-31.

Hanken, J. (1979). ''Egg development time and clutch size in two neotropical salamanders.'' Copeia, 1979(4), 741-744.

Parra-Olea, G., García-París, M., Hanken, J., and Wake, D.B. (2004). ''A new species of arboreal salamander (Caudata: Plethodontidae: Pseudoeurycea) from the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico.'' Journal of Natural History, 38, 2119-2131.

Wake, D. B., Lynch, J. F. (1976). ''The distribution, ecology, and evolutionary history of plethodontid salamanders in tropical America.'' Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Science Bulletin, 25(1), 1-75. [link]

Originally submitted by: Arie van der Meijden (first posted 2001-02-22)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2010-09-21)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2010 Bolitoglossa subpalmata: La Palma Salamander <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 21, 2024.

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

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