Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
This species was described from one individual, a male. Vomerine teeth in two arch-shaped rows. Snout rounded, head large and flattened. Limbs robust, especially hindlimbs. Toes and fingers by 4. No keratinization on digits. Tail longer than body, flattened from the sides. The end of the tail tapers into a rounded point. Skin smooth, with numerous pores. In an individual preserved in alcohol, the skin is yellowish (Clergue-Gazeau and Farcy 1978; Clerge-Gazeau and Thorn 1979).
The karyotype is 2n = 62 (Stöck 1999).
The taxonomic position of this species is disputed. Kami (1999) refers to specimens from the type locality (Shirabad Cave) as Batrachuperus persicus (now called Paradactylodon persicus). Initially, the designation of Paradactylodon persicus was based on larvae collected from the western Hyrcanian corridor and reared in captivity (Eiselt and Steiner 1970). Paradactylodon gorganensis was later described from a single specimen originating from a locality in the eastern edge of the Hyrcanian Corridor (Clergue-Gazeau and Farcy 1978; Clergue-Gazeau and Thorn 1979). On the basis of morphometric comparisons of topotypic subadults and larvae between these taxa as well as with P. mustersi, Batrachuperus pinchonii, and Ranodon sibiricus, Stöck (1999) thought that P. gorganensis and P. persicus might be clinal variants and thus conspecific. However, as Ebrahimi (2004) point out, molecular and cytogenetic data are lacking, as well as a more comprehensive examination of morphological variation along the entire Hyrcanian corridor.