IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

Comprehensive Description

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Hynobius stejnegeri has a snout to vent length of 76-85 mm and a total length of 137-155 mm. Compared to other Japanese Hynobius, this is a large, very robust salamander. Individuals of nearly 200 mm in total length have been reported. It has 13, but sometimes 14, costal grooves. Both its limbs and toes are short. When its limbs are adpressed to the flank, there is a space of 2-3.5 costal grooves between the fore and hind toes. True to its common name, its dorsal surface has an almost translucent blackish brown ground color blotched with bright amber. Its ventral surface is lighter and without blotches.

Since the amber blotches fade in fixative, preserved specimens of H. stejnegeri are easily confused with Hynobius naevius, with which this species is sympatric. In life it can be distinguished by the amber color of its blotches, as compared to the silver or whitish blotches of H. naevius. Also, in H. naevius, the blotches are like dots on the top of the back which become larger on the flanks and tail. In H. stejnegeri, the blotches are generally largish all over the dorsal surfaces (Goris 2004).

Hynobius stejnegeri is sympatric with H. naevius throughout its range, no intergrades are known, suggesting strong reproductive isolation (Goris 2004).


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