Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
                                        
Specimen Records:1,009Public Records:347
Specimens with Sequences:840Public Species:56
Specimens with Barcodes:703Public BINs:127
Species:177         
Species With Barcodes:107         
          
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Barcode data

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Locations of barcode samples

Collection Sites: world map showing specimen collection locations for Plethodontidae

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Wikipedia

Lungless salamander

The Plethodontidae, or lungless salamanders, are a family of salamanders. Most species are native to the Western Hemisphere, from British Columbia to Brazil, although a few species are found in Sardinia, Europe south of the Alps, and South Korea. In terms of number of species, they are by far the largest group of salamanders.[1]

Biology[edit]

A number of features distinguish the plethodontids from other salamanders. Most significantly, they lack lungs, conducting respiration through their skin, and the tissues lining their mouths. Another distinctive feature is the presence of a vertical slit between the nostril and upper lip, known as the "nasolabial groove". The groove is lined with glands, and enhances the salamander's chemoreception.[1]

Adult lungless salamanders have four limbs, with four toes on the fore limbs, and usually with five on the hind limbs. Many species lack an aquatic larval stage. In many species, eggs are laid on land, and the young hatch already possessing an adult body form. Many species have a projectile tongue and hyoid apparatus, which they can fire almost a body length at high speed to capture prey.

Measured in individual numbers, they are very successful animals where they occur. In some places, they make up the dominant biomass of vertebrates.[2] Due to their modest size and low metabolism, they are able to feed on prey such as collembola, which are usually too small for other terrestrial vertebrates. This gives them access to a whole ecological niche with minimal competition from other groups.

Taxonomy[edit]

The family Plethodontidae consists of four subfamilies and about 380 species divided among these genera, making up the majority of known salamander species:[3]

SubfamilyGenus, scientific name, and authorCommon nameSpecies
Bolitoglossinae
Hallowell, 1856
Batrachoseps Bonaparte, 1839Slender salamanders
19
Bolitoglossa Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854Tropical climbing salamanders
117
Bradytriton Wake & Elias, 1983Finca Chiblac salamander
1
Chiropterotriton Taylor, 1944Splay-foot salamanders
12
Cryptotriton García-París & Wake, 2000Hidden salamanders
7
Dendrotriton Wake & Elias, 1983Bromeliad salamanders
6
Nototriton Wake & Elias, 1983Moss salamanders
13
Nyctanolis Elias & Wake, 1983Long-limbed salamanders
1
Oedipina Keferstein, 1868Worm salamanders
25
Parvimolge Taylor, 1944Tropical dwarf salamanders
1
Pseudoeurycea Taylor, 1944False brook salamanders
50
Thorius Cope, 1869Minute salamanders
23
Hemidactyliinae
Hallowell, 1856
Hemidactylium Tschudi, 1838Four-toed salamander
1
Plethodontinae
Gray, 1850
Aneides Baird, 1851Climbing salamanders
6
Atylodes Gistel, 1868Sardinian cave salamander
1
Desmognathus Baird, 1850Dusky salamanders
20
Ensatina Gray, 1850Ensatinas
1
Hydromantes Gistel, 1848Web-toed and European cave salamanders
3
Karsenia Min, Yang, Bonett, Vieites, Brandon & Wake, 2005Korean crevice salamanders
1
Phaeognathus Highton, 1961Red Hills salamanders
1
Plethodon Tschudi, 1838Slimy and mountain salamanders
55
Speleomantes Dubois, 1984Cave salamanders
7
Spelerpinae
Cope, 1859
Eurycea Rafinesque, 1822North American brook salamanders
27
Gyrinophilus Cope, 1869Spring salamanders
4
Pseudotriton Tschudi, 1838Mud and red salamanders
3
Stereochilus Cope, 1869Many-lined salamander
1
Urspelerpes[4] Camp, Peterman, Milanovich, Lamb, Maerz & Wake, 2009Patch-nosed salamander
1

Following a major revision in 2006, the genus Haideotriton was found to be a synonym of Eurycea, while the genera Ixalotriton and Lineatriton were made synonyms of Pseudoeurycea.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lanza, B., Vanni, S., & Nistri, A. (1998). Cogger, H.G. & Zweifel, R.G., ed. Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 74–75. ISBN 0-12-178560-2. 
  2. ^ Hairston, N.G., Sr. 1987. Community ecology and salamander guilds. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.
  3. ^ Min, M.S., S. Y. Yang, R. M. Bonett, D. R. Vieites, R. A. Brandon & D. B. Wake. (2005). Discovery of the first Asian plethodontid salamander. Nature (435), 87-90 (5 May 2005)
  4. ^ Camp, C. D.; et al. (2009). "A new genus and species of lungless salamander (family Plethodontidae) from the Appalachian highlands of the south-eastern United States". Journal of Zoology 279: 1–9. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2009.00593.x. 
  5. ^ Frost et al. 2006. THE AMPHIBIAN TREE OF LIFE (http://digitallibrary.amnh.org/dspace/bitstream/2246/5781/1/B297.pdf)
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Cave salamander

The olm (Proteus anguinus) of the western Balkan Peninsula.

Several salamanders that primarily or exclusively inhabit caves have commonly been termed “cave salamanders”. With one highly notable exception, all are members of the family Plethodontidae ("lungless salamanders"). Some of these species and genera have developed special, even extreme, adaptations to their subterranean environments, such as an absence of eyes or pigmentation (e.g., Proteus anguinus, Eurycea rathbuni).

Contents

History

The first intense and continuous scientific study of a cave animal was of a cave salamander, Proteus anguinus. It was originally identified as a "dragon's larva" by Janez Vajkard Valvasor in 1689. Later, the Austrian naturalist Joseph Nicolaus Lorenz described it scientifically in 1768.[1]

Another early scientific description of a cave salamander was performed by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque in 1822 while he was a professor of botany and natural history at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. The species he described was known to the locals as a "cave puppet" and is now known to be Eurycea lucifuga. His discovery was not surprising at the time because E. lucifuga inhabits near the entrance of caves, thus an in-depth exploration was not required; and, E. lucifuga is neither blind nor depigmented.[1]

List of cave salamanders

The spotted-tail cave salamander (Eurycea lucifuga) of the United States.
  • The following species have commonly been termed “the cave salamander” without any additional modifier or adjective:
    • The olm (Proteus anguinus), or proteus, a unique blind salamander endemic to caves of southeastern Europe
    • The spotted-tail cave salamander (Eurycea lucifuga), a lungless salamander endemic to caves of the eastern United States
  • Eurycea (of North America) and Speleomantes (of Italy and France) are two genera of lungless salamanders with so many individual species termed “cave salamanders” that the entire group is sometimes so designated

References

  1. ^ a b Romero, Aldemaro (2009). Cave Biology; Life in Darkness. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 8–10. ISBN 978-0-521-53553-3.

See also

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