Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
Similar to other bolitoglossines lacking a sublingual fold and placed in the subgenus Eladinea based on its mitochondrial DNA, Bolitoglossa aureogularis is a medium-sized member of this genus with unique coloration. It is reddish tan to yellow overall with black flanks and a bright yellow throat and yellow-brown chest; its belly is further distinguished with a pair of off-white patches on the ventrolateral surfaces of its venter. Yellow also marks the undersides of the forelimbs, and white speckling on the undersides of its hindlimbs (Boza-Oviedo et al. 2012).
Compared to other members of Bolitoglossa, B. aureogularis is moderate sized with a slender build. The snout-vent length of the holotype (48.8 mm) is almost equivalent to those of B. splendida (a geographic neighbor), B. pesrubra, B. subpalmata, and B. gomezi (all Talamancan species). It has a narrow head and relatively short, rounded snout with small nostrils; eyes are also small and do not extend beyond the margins of the head. Its nasolabial protuberances are not pronounced. It has moderate webbing on its hands and feet, more extensive on the latter, with well-differentiated digits (Boza-Oviedo et al. 2012).
Its coloration is seen in both adults and juveniles (Boza-Oviedo et al. 2012).
Its species name refers to its unique coloration: golden (aurea, Latin), throat (gula, Latin)(Boza-Oviedo et al. 2012).
Based on mtDNA phylogenetic analysis, B. aureogularis is most closely related to B. robinsoni, which represents a previously unknown clade that is well supported and consists so far of only these two species, which are strikingly different in morphology and coloration. B. aureogularis occurs in the north and west of eastern Costa Rica while B. robinsoni to the south and east into western Panama (Boza-Oviedo et al. 2012). In contrast to the slender B. aureogularis, B. robinsoni, is robust and larger (45 - 63 mm) in snout-vent length, with large protruding eyes. B. robinsoni has yellow speckling throughout its dark body (Bolaños and Wake 2009).