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Overview

Brief Summary

Caption

The species Bolitoglossa subpalmata actually occurs in northern Costa Rica (Savage 2002). More southern populations are probably a new species.
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Distribution

Range Description

This species occurs on both slopes of the Cordillera de Guanacaste, the Cordillera de Tilarán, and the Cordillera Central and their outliers in central and northern Costa Rica, at 1,245-2,900m asl.
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Distribution and Habitat

The Bolitoglossa subpalmata clade occurs in the mountains of Costa Rica and extreme western Panama. These salamanders inhabit humid cloud forests and paramo-like habitats, at moderate to high elevation (1500m). Four clades within the main clade have been defined by allozyme and mtDNA data, and two disjunct geographic units have been categorized. The northern geographic unit, which comprises the species B. subpalmata (sensu stricto), includes populations ranging from Volcan Cacao to Volcan Turrialba, in the Cordillera Guanacaste, Cordillera de Tilaran, Cordillera Central, and Cordillera de Aguacate. The second unit is found in the Cordillera Talamanca, and runs from Cerros de Escazu in Costa Rica to Chiriqui in western Panama (Wake and Lynch 1976; Garcia-Paris et al. 2008).

  • Hanken, J. (1979). ''Egg development time and clutch size in two neotropical salamanders.'' Copeia, 1979(4), 741-744.
  • Wake, D. B. and Lynch, J. F. (1976). ''The distribution, ecology, and evolutionary history of plethodontid salamanders in tropical America.'' Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Science Bulletin, 25(1), 1-75.
  • Brame, A. H., Jr. and Wake, D. B. (1972). ''New species of salamanders (genus Bolitoglossa) from Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama.'' Contributions in Science, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 219, 1-34.
  • García-París, M., Parra-Olea, G., and Wake, D.B. (2008). ''Description of a new species of the Bolitoglossa subpalmata group (Caudata: Plethodontidae) from Costa Rica.'' Herpetological Journal, 18, 23-31.
  • Parra-Olea, G., García-París, M., Hanken, J., and Wake, D.B. (2004). ''A new species of arboreal salamander (Caudata: Plethodontidae: Pseudoeurycea) from the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico.'' Journal of Natural History, 38, 2119-2131.
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Countries

Countries

Costa Rica, Panama

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© Myra Hughey

Source: Amphibians of Panama

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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Identification

Adult

Species description based on Savage (2002).  Medium-sized species with a rather robust body. Adults range from 71-131 mm, including the tail. Tail is generally longer than the body.

Dorsal

The dorsal surface ranges in color from black to grey to red-brown. The color may be uniform or some red, brown or yellow coloration may be present along the center of the dorsal surface.

Extremities

Hands and feet moderately webbed.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It lives in lower montane wet forest and rainforest, and marginally in the upper portion of premontane rainforest. It is frequently found in bromeliads and under fallen trees, logs, or rocks. It can occur in secondary growth, isolated trees in pastures, and other anthropogenic habitats, provided that there are trees and adequate cover. It breeds by direct development and is not dependent upon water.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Habitat

Montane rainforest, marginally down to premontane forest, 1245-2900 m elevation.

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Source: Amphibians of Panama

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General Ecology

Ecology

Ecology

This species is relatively common in Costa Rica and may be found in bromeliads above the forest floor or on the ground under objects (Savage 2002).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Bolitoglossa subpalmata

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
B1ab(v)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2004

Assessor/s
Alan Pounds, Federico Bolaños, Gerardo Chaves, David Wake, Jay Savage

Reviewer/s
Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Endangered because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and although there may be a continuing decline in the number of mature individuals.
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Population

Population
The current population status of the species is not known, but it appears to have declined (although it is still recorded on a regular basis).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

The inferred incubation period is about 4-5 months.

  • Hanken, J. (1979). ''Egg development time and clutch size in two neotropical salamanders.'' Copeia, 1979(4), 741-744.
  • Wake, D. B. and Lynch, J. F. (1976). ''The distribution, ecology, and evolutionary history of plethodontid salamanders in tropical America.'' Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Science Bulletin, 25(1), 1-75.
  • Brame, A. H., Jr. and Wake, D. B. (1972). ''New species of salamanders (genus Bolitoglossa) from Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama.'' Contributions in Science, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 219, 1-34.
  • García-París, M., Parra-Olea, G., and Wake, D.B. (2008). ''Description of a new species of the Bolitoglossa subpalmata group (Caudata: Plethodontidae) from Costa Rica.'' Herpetological Journal, 18, 23-31.
  • Parra-Olea, G., García-París, M., Hanken, J., and Wake, D.B. (2004). ''A new species of arboreal salamander (Caudata: Plethodontidae: Pseudoeurycea) from the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico.'' Journal of Natural History, 38, 2119-2131.
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Threats

Major Threats
The species seems have become extremely rare at Monteverde, and declines that have taken place in suitable habitat could be the result of threats such as climate change or disease (possibly chytridiomycosis). Earlier reports suggested that this salamander seemed to have disappeared from Parque Nacional Poas, however populations are still present here (Federico Bolaños pers. comm. 2007). The species does not appear to be significantly threatened by habitat loss, as animals can be found in open areas, amongst rocks and observed crossing roads (Federico Bolaños pers. comm. 2007).
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

This salamander is threatened from habitat loss and fragmentation due to increasing agricultural encroachment. It appears to be gone from Parque Nacional Poas and has become extremely rare at Monteverde. Declines that occur in more suitable habitat could be the result of other threats such as climate change or disease, possibly chytridiomycosis. However, chytridiomycosis normally impacts aquatic or semi-aquatic species (IUCN 2006).

  • Hanken, J. (1979). ''Egg development time and clutch size in two neotropical salamanders.'' Copeia, 1979(4), 741-744.
  • Wake, D. B. and Lynch, J. F. (1976). ''The distribution, ecology, and evolutionary history of plethodontid salamanders in tropical America.'' Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Science Bulletin, 25(1), 1-75.
  • Brame, A. H., Jr. and Wake, D. B. (1972). ''New species of salamanders (genus Bolitoglossa) from Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama.'' Contributions in Science, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 219, 1-34.
  • García-París, M., Parra-Olea, G., and Wake, D.B. (2008). ''Description of a new species of the Bolitoglossa subpalmata group (Caudata: Plethodontidae) from Costa Rica.'' Herpetological Journal, 18, 23-31.
  • Parra-Olea, G., García-París, M., Hanken, J., and Wake, D.B. (2004). ''A new species of arboreal salamander (Caudata: Plethodontidae: Pseudoeurycea) from the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico.'' Journal of Natural History, 38, 2119-2131.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Much of its range is protected by numerous national parks and private reserves, such as Parque Nacional Guanacaste. Further research is needed to determine the reasons for the decline of this species in suitable habitat.
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Wikipedia

La Palma salamander

The La Palma Salamander (Bolitoglossa subpalmata) is a species of salamander in the Plethodontidae family. It is endemic to Costa Rica.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, pastureland, plantations, rural gardens, and heavily degraded former forest. It is threatened by habitat loss.

References[edit]


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