IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

Comprehensive Description

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Description

Hynobius boulengeri has a snout to vent length of 79-107 mm and a total length of 144-201 mm. It is a large and robust animal, by far the largest Japanese hynobiid. It has 13, but sometimes only 12, costal grooves. Its hind feet have 5 toes. Its limbs are long and robust, but because of its long trunk, the fore and hind toes have a space of 0.5-3 costal grooves between them when its limbs are adpressed to the flank. The dorsal color of H. boulengeri is bluish black, usually without any patterning, and the ventral surface is lighter. Because of its large size and lack of pattern, H. boulengeri is not easily confused with any other Japanese salamanders (Goris 2004).

"Odaigahara" is the name of a mountain in Nara Prefecture where the species was first discovered. The genus Pachypalaminus was originally erected for this species on the basis of its having a lacrimal bone in the skull, but it is now known that all Hynobius have a lacrimal bone, so there is no foundation for classifying it as anything other than Hynobius (Goris 2004). [3684]

Nishikawa et al. (2001) demonstrate that the populations on Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu belong to three separate species, but the formal naming of the populations on Shikoku and Kyushu has not yet been done. Pending this, Hynobius boulengeri is treated as a single species. (IUCN 2006).

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