There are more than 400 species of salamander. These animals have round bodies, four legs, and a long tail. They are the only amphibians that have a tail at all stages of life.
Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry
Life History and Behavior
Development - Life Cycle: metamorphosis
Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
Evolution and Systematics
The external gills of newt tadpoles absorb oxygen from water using fine filaments with a large collective surface area.
"The large surface area of fine filaments is used by the external gills of the newt tadpole…to absorb oxygen from the surrounding water." (Foy and Oxford Scientific Films 1982:25)
Learn more about this functional adaptation.
- Foy, Sally; Oxford Scientific Films. 1982. The Grand Design: Form and Colour in Animals. Lingfield, Surrey, U.K.: BLA Publishing Limited for J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd, Aldine House, London. 238 p.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
Specimens with Sequences:1049
Specimens with Barcodes:860
Species With Barcodes:110
The Salamandridae are a family of salamanders consisting of true salamanders and newts. Currently, 74 species (with more expected) have been identified in the Northern Hemisphere - Europe, Asia, the northern tip of Africa, and North America. Salamandrids are distinguished from other salamanders by the lack of rib or costal grooves along the sides of their bodies and by their rough skin.
With a few exceptions, salamandrids have patterns of bright and contrasting colours. They have four well-developed limbs, with four toes on the fore limbs, and (in most cases) five toes on the hind limbs. They vary from 7 to 30 cm (3 to 12 in) in length.
The alpine salamander and Lanza's fire salamander give birth to live young, without a tadpole stage, but the other species lay their eggs in water. Some newts are neotenic, being able to reproduce before they are fully metamorphosed.
The genera Chioglossa, Lyciasalamandra, Mertensiella, and Salamandra are grouped in the subfamily Salamandrinae, the rest are in Pleurodelinae. Those with a more thoroughly aquatic lifestyle are referred to as "newts", but this is not a formal taxonomic description.
- Subfamily Pleurodelinae
- Genus Calotriton (Spanish brook newts) - two species
- Genus Cynops (fire belly newts) - seven species
- Chenggong fire belly newt (Cynops chenggongensis )
- Chuxiong fire-bellied newt (Cynops cyanurus)
- Japanese sword-tail newt (Cynops ensicauda)
- Chinese fire belly newt (Cynops orientalis)
- Dayang fire belly newt (Cynops orphicus)
- Japanese fire belly newt (Cynops pyrrhogaster)
- Yunnan lake newt (Cynops wolterstorffi)
- Genus Echinotriton (crocodile newts) - two species
- Genus Euproctus (Brook Salamanders) - two species
- Genus Lissotriton (small-bodied newts) - five species
- Genus Mesotriton (alpine newt) - one species
- Alpine newt (Mesotriton alpestris)
- Genus Neurergus (spotted newts) - four species
- Genus Notophthalmus (eastern newts) - three species
- Genus Ommatotriton (banded newts) - two species
- Genus Pachytriton (paddle-tail newts) - two species (with four more to be evaluated)
- Genus Paramesotriton (warty newts) -seven species
- Spot-tailed warty newt (Paramesotriton caudopunctatus)
- Chinese warty newt (Paramesotriton chinensis)
- Tam Dao salamander or Tam Dao warty newt (Paramesotriton deloustali)
- Wanggao warty newt (Paramesotriton fuzhongensis)
- Guangxi warty newt (Paramesotriton guanxiensis)
- Hong Kong warty newt (Paramesotriton hongkongensis)
- Laos warty newt (Paramesotriton laoensis)
- Genus Pleurodeles (ribbed newts) - three species
- Genus Salamandrina (spectacled salamanders) - two species
- Genus Taricha (western newts / Pacific newts) - three species
- Genus Triturus (crested newts) - seven species
- Genus Tylototriton (crocodile newts) - eight species
- Black knobby newt (Tylototriton asperrimus)
- Hainan knobby newt (Tylototriton hainanensis)
- Red-tailed knobby newt (Tylototriton kweichowensis)
- Mandarin newt (Tylototriton shanjing)
- Taliang knobby newt (Tylototriton taliangensis)
- Himalayan crocodile newt (Tylototriton verrucosus)
- Vietnamese crocodile newt (Tylototriton vietnamensis)
- Wenxian knobby newt (Tylototriton wenxianensis)
- Subfamily Salamandrinae
- Genus Chioglossa - one species
- Gold-striped salamander (Chioglossa lusitanica)
- Genus Lyciasalamandra - seven species
- Anatolia Lycian salamander (Lyciasalamandra antalyana)
- Atif's Lycian salamander (Lyciasalamandra atifi)
- Bay Lycian salamander (Lyciasalamandra billae)
- Fazil Lycian salamander (Lyciasalamandra fazilae)
- Marmaris Lycian salamander (Lyciasalamandra flavimembris)
- Karpathos Lycian salamander (Lyciasalamandra helverseni)
- Luschan's salamander (Lyciasalamandra luschani)
- Genus Mertensiella - one species
- Caucasian salamander (Mertensiella caucasica)
- Genus Salamandra (fire salamanders) - six species
- Genus Chioglossa - one species
- Lanza, B., Vanni, S., & Nistri, A. (1998). Cogger, H.G. & Zweifel, R.G., ed. Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 73–74. ISBN 0-12-178560-2.
- Pyron, R.A.; Weins, J.J. (2011). "A large-scale phylogeny of Amphibia including over 2800 species, and a revised classification of advanced frogs, salamanders, and caecilians". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 61 (2): 543–853. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.06.012. PMID 21723399.
- Haaramo, Mikko (2011). "Caudata – salamanders". Mikko's Phylogeny Archive.
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