AmphibiaWeb - Chiropterotriton ceronorum


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Chiropterotriton ceronorum Parra-Olea, García-Castillo, Rovito, Maisano, Hanken & Wake, 2020
Ceron Family Salamander, Salamander de los Ceron
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Hemidactyliinae
genus: Chiropterotriton
Species Description: Parra Olea G, Garcia-Castillo MG, Rovito SM, Maisano JA, Hanken J, Wake DB. 2020. Descriptions of five new species of the salamander genus Chiropterotriton (Caudata: Plethodontidae) from eastern Mexico and the status of three currently recognized taxa. PeerJ 8:e8800 DOI 10.7717/peerj.8800
Chiropterotriton ceronorum
© 2020 Mirna G. García-Castillo (1 of 7)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Critically Endangered (CR) - Provisional
National Status None
Regional Status None


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Chiropterotriton ceronorum is a medium-sized salamander with a snout-vent length range of 30.6 - 36.2 mm in adult males and 33.3 - 38.5 mm in adult females. They have a broad head and snout, which is truncated. The ventral side of the head has a rounded mental gland. A pair of nasolabial grooves are also present, which extend from the upper lip to the nostrils. The eyes are large and can be seen beyond the jaw in the ventral view. The region between the eyes is slightly curved inwards. The limbs are lengthy with the hind legs being slightly shorter and bulkier than the front legs. All digits are slender and well separated with webbing at the base. The hands have four digits, while the feet have five. The well-developed tail is longer than the body (Parra-Olea et al. 2020).

Compared to C. melipona, C. ceronorum has a longer body length, longer limbs (in males), larger head, and broader feet. Chiropterotriton melipona also possesses a bright brown dorsal skin from the lower side of the head to the tail that distinguishes it. Compared to C. totonacus, C. ceronorum has a smaller body, shorter limbs, tail, and fewer maxillary teeth. Chiropterotriton totonacus also has darker-toned skin. A larger body with lengthier legs and a wider head in C. ceronorum differentiates it from C. perotensis. Compared to C. casasi, C. ceronorum has a smaller body with a slimmer and shorter head, and more developed limbs. From C. orculus, C. ceronorum has a smaller body with longer limbs and brighter skin. Chiropterotriton orculus has also darker skin and has more webbing. From C. lavae, C. ceronorum is larger and possesses a shorter tail and limbs. Chiropterotriton lavae also have light-brown skin with darker stripes located laterally on the dorsal side. From C. chiropterus, C. ceronorum has a shorter tail and longer legs and smoother skin (Parra-Olea et al. 2020).

In life, C. ceronorum is dark brown, becoming reddish-brown on the anterior dorsal and lateral sides. A dorsal stripe might be present, extending from the posterior side of the head to the tail. The stripe can be bright and possess many darker color marks. The face, cheeks, and legs are vivid gray-brown while the snout is red-brown to red at the tip. The upper eyelids are light yellow becoming darker ventrally. The distal portion of the limbs are light gray, becoming colorless and transparent at the digits, which contain reddish blood vessels. The ventral and lateral surfaces are gray (Parra-Olea et al. 2020).

In preservative, C. ceronorum has a fixed dark brown dorsum, which expands towards the tip of the tail, becoming lighter laterally and ventrally. The mental gland is sandy pale, and the limbs are yellowish. The stripe is usually darker, although yellowish in some. A darker stripe center can be seen in some specimens (Parra-Olea et al. 2020).

In the Pueblo region, the specimens usually have a dorsal stripe, which extends from the rear side of the head towards the tail tip. In Veracruz, the specimens generally lack a dorsal band. Also, the Pueblo specimens have a bigger body with a shorter tail compared with the neighboring region (Parra-Olea et al. 2020).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Mexico

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This species only occurs in the states of Puebla and Veracruz in south Mexico. In the Veracruz territory, the species are observed between two rivers, Metlac and Orizaba. In the Pueblo region, the species are located between two cities, Texmola and San Manuel de la Sierra. The habitat that they reside in describes a terrestrial forest habitat. They were found on flowering plants and sometimes covered objects. The specimens were found at elevations of about 2,600 - 3,100 meters (Parra-Olea et al. 2020).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Chiropterotriton ceronorum occurs in a range of high elevation habitats under cover objects on the ground and in arboreal bromeliads (Parra-Olea et al. 2020).

Chiropterotriton ceronorum can be found in sympatry with Pseudoeurycea gadovii, Pseudoeurycea leprosa, Thorius lunaris and Thorius spilogaster, but occupies a higher elevation than C. chipoterus (Parra-Olea et al. 2020).

Trends and Threats
Chiropterotrition ceronorum is highly restricted in their distribution. It was once abundant, but in recent years has been rare to find. Much of its natural habitat has been destroyed due to extensive habitat modification. Its remaining habitat is severely fragmented and continues to undergo degradation, limiting dispersal and leading to a threat status listing of “Critically Endangered”. The population decline is representative of two observations of the area in 2015, where none of the individual species were noted despite encountering sympatric species (Parra-Olea et al. 2020).

The spread of the amphibian pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (“Bsal”), has caused a decline in European salamanders since its first emergence in 2010 (Feldmeier et al. 2016). Although Bsal has not been introduced to the Americas, recent studies have indicated that high elevation habitats in Mexico are suitable for the fungus (Basanta et al. 2019). Thus there are fears that C. ceronorum could be severely impacted by the fungus if it were to be introduced.

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Habitat fragmentation


Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference of partial 12S, tRNA, and 16S mtDNA sequences indicate that C. cenonorum is sister to the clade composed of C. lavae and C. perotensis. The next more closely related species is C. totonacus (Parra-Olea et al. 2020).

The species epithet, “ceronorum”, pays homage to the Ceron family of Cuautlalpan, Veracruz. Members of this family have aided herpetologists in collecting Salamanders in Pico de Orizaba for generations (Parra-Olea et al. 2020).


Basanta, M.D., Rebollar, E.A., Parra-Olea, G. (2019). "Potential risk of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Mexico." PloS one 14(2): e0211960. [link]

Feldmeier, S., Schefczyk, L., Wagner, N., Heinemann, G., Veith, M., Lötters, S., Gratwicke, B. (2016). “Exploring the distribution of the spreading lethal salamander chytrid fungus in its invasive range in Europe - a macroecological approach.” PloS one, 11(10), e0165682. [link]

Parra Olea, G., Garcia-Castillo, M. G., Rovito, S. M., Maisano, J. A., Hanken, J., Wake, D. B. (2020). “Descriptions of five new species of the salamander genus Chiropterotriton (Caudata: Plethodontidae) from eastern Mexico and the status of three currently recognized taxa.” PeerJ, 8:e8800 [link]

Originally submitted by: Berenice Magana, Ting Yao Lim, Dima Eriomov (2022-04-19)
Description by: Berenice Magana, Ting Yao Lim, Dima Eriomov (updated 2022-04-19)
Distribution by: Berenice Magana, Ting Yao Lim, Dima Eriomov (updated 2022-04-19)
Life history by: Berenice Magana, Ting Yao Lim, Dima Eriomov (updated 2022-04-19)
Trends and threats by: Berenice Magana, Ting Yao Lim, Dima Eriomov (updated 2022-04-19)
Comments by: Berenice Magana, Ting Yao Lim, Dima Eriomov (updated 2022-04-19)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2022-04-19)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Chiropterotriton ceronorum: Ceron Family Salamander <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 14, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 14 Jul 2024.

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