West Virginia Spring Salamander
© 2007 Danté B Fenolio (1 of 17)
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: United States
U.S. state distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: West Virginia
Cave species are often highly endemic and can be especially vulnerable to habitat degradation within and surrounding the cave systems they inhabit. The West Virginia Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus subterraneus) is only known from a single cave and though it is phenotypically distinct from the more widespread Spring Salamander species complex (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus), its evolutionary history and status as a unique species have been debated for decades. Grant et al. (2022) combine genomic and morphological data to demonstrate that G. subterraneus represent a distinct lineage, and that they occur in sympatry with G. porphyriticus within General Davis Cave. Surprisingly, the team also reports hybridization within the cave with evidence of partial reproductive isolation between the species. Collectively, the results provide strong support for continuing to recognize G. subterraenus as a distinct and unique species, and reveal a compelling study system for understanding how salamanders adapt to cave ecosystems. (Written by Rayna Bell)
Edited by: Michelle S. Koo (2022-07-31)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Gyrinophilus subterraneus: West Virginia Spring Salamander <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/5814> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Aug 8, 2022.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2022. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 8 Aug 2022.
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