IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

Comprehensive Description

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This salamander is one of the smallest known in the genus Bolitoglossa; it has moderate webbing, protuberant eyes, a light mid-dorsal marking that is broad with scalloped edges, and a light venter. The total length is 66 mm and the female standard length is 31-32 mm (from the two known adult specimens: Bolaños and Wake 1981). The tail is moderately long (53% of the total body length) and has a weak constriction at the base. The tail does not show strong lateral compression. Leg length is 22% of the standard length. The head width is 15% of the standard length. Eyes are large and protuberant. There is a deep groove below the eye, following its curvature, and a postorbital groove that becomes continuous with the dorsolateral bands. No interorbital crest is present. The snout is moderately short with a weakly developed canthus rostralis, and the nostrils are small; no labial protuberances are present in the female holotype. Three maxillary teeth and twelve vomerine teeth are present. There are two costal folds between adpressed limbs. Digits are moderately webbed (about 2/3 webbed) except for the inner digit of hands and feet, which is completely webbed. The subterminal pads are weakly defined. Relative finger lengths are 3>4>2>1 and relative toe lengths are 3>2=4>5>1. No postiliac gland is present (Robinson 1976).

In preservative, this species has a brown dorsum with a broad midlateral light field that has scalloped edges, especially around the costal grooves, and darker flanks (Robinson 1976; Savage 2002). There may be darker lateral broad bands that pass above the forelimb insertion sites, becoming indistinguishable from the ground color once they pass over the hind limb insertion sites (Robinson 1976). Elbows and knees are not pigmented (Robinson 1976). The venter is lighter colored with scattered melanophores (Savage 2002). Ventral melanophores are dense in the cloacal region but sparse on the tip of the tail (Robinson 1976).

The specific epithet diminuta means "exceedingly small" in Spanish (Robinson 1976).

This species was assigned to the genus Bolitoglossa due to the presence of 13 costal grooves and the absence of a sublingual fold (Robinson 1976). It can immediately be distinguished from other Costa Rican species due to its small size (in standard length measurement) (Robinson 1976). It is the smallest in the genus (Savage 2002). It is similar to Bolitoglossa gracilis, which has a yellowish ground color with irregular dark brown lines (Savage 2002). It also has a dark longitudinal stripe midventrally (Savage 2002).

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


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