Dicamptodon Strauch, 1870

Class: Amphibia > Order: Caudata > Family: Ambystomatidae > Genus: Dicamptodon
4 species

Dicamptodon Strauch, 1870, Mem. Acad. Imp. Sci. St. Petersbourg, Ser. 7, 16 (4): 68. Type species: Triton ensatus Eschscholtz, 1833, by monotypy.

Chondrotus Cope, 1887, Am. Nat., 21: 88. Type species: Amblystoma tenebrosum Baird and Girard, 1852, by original designation. Synonymy by Hay, 1892, Annu. Rep. Dept. Geol. Nat. Res. Indiana for 1891: 427.

English Names

Pacific Giant Salamanders (Conant, Cagle, Goin, Lowe, Neill, Netting, Schmidt, Shaw, Stebbins, and Bogert, 1956, Copeia, 1956: 174; Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 21; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 17; Highton, Bonett, and Jockusch, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 26).

American Giant Salamanders (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 28).

Giant Salamanders (Collins, Huheey, Knight, and Smith, 1978, Herpetol. Circ., 7: 5; Nussbaum, Brodie, and Storm, 1983, Amph. Rept. Pacific Northwest: 59; Collins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 6; Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 10).

Pacific Mole Salamanders (Vitt and Caldwell, 2009, Herpetology, 3rd Ed.: 425).


The Pacific coast, from southwestern British Columbia (Canada) to Santa Cruz County, California; northern Idaho, USA.


See detailed accounts by Anderson, 1969, Cat. Am. Amph. Rept., 76: 1–2, and Petranka, 1998, Salamand. U.S. Canada: 145–156. Nussbaum, 1976, Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool. Univ. Michigan, 149: 1–94, presented information on morphology and geographic variation. Daugherty, Allendorf, Dunlap, and Knudsen, 1983, Copeia, 1983: 679–691, and Good, 1989, Evolution, 43: 728–744, reported on biochemical evolution within the genus. Steele, Carstens, Storfer, and Sullivan, 2005, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 36: 90–100, discussed aspects of molecular phylogenetics and biogeography within the genus. See comment under Ambystomatidae. Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543–583 (see comment in Amphibia record) as part of a larger study suggested a tree of species. Altig and McDiarmid, 2015, Handb. Larval Amph. US and Canada, provided keys and accounts for the larvae of the USA and Canada. 

Contained taxa (4 sp.):

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