IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

Comprehensive Description

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Description

Batrachuperus tibetanus total length ranges from 175-211 mm in males, 170-197 mm in females. Head is somewhat flat, of equal length and width. Snout is wide and round in shape. Noticeable labial folds present. Vomerine teeth short, with 4-6 on each side, large gap in between the two rows of teeth. Body is either cylindrical in shape or flattened, covered with smooth skin. Jugular fold is obvious, with a groove that runs from the fold to the posterior of each eye. Generally 12 costal grooves are present. There is a distance of 1-2 costal grooves between the tips of forelimb and hindlimb toes when limbs are adpressed to the flank. There are four unwebbed toes on each forelimb and four unwebbed toes on each hindlimb, with dark brown coloration at the tips of the toes. In males, tail length exceeds SVL; however females have a longer SVL than the tail. The tail is cylindrical in shape, flattening out towards the oval-shaped tip (Fei and Ye 2001).

Body color varies in this species; dorsum of the body and the tail is usually either dark yellow, dark gray, or olive gray. Some specimens will also have tiny black dots on the dorsum. The venter is lighter in color (Fei and Ye 2001).

Larvae develop a tailfin fold when they reach 41 mm in length. The tri-forked gills disappear at 64 mm in length, when larvae enter the adult stage (Fei and Ye 2001).

Batrachuperus tibetanus may actually include multiple species, according to Fu et al. (2001), who proposed that this taxon consists of four species, only one of which has been formally described.

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