Hynobius sonani (Maki, 1922)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Caudata > Family: Hynobiidae > Subfamily: Hynobiinae > Genus: Hynobius > Species: Hynobius sonani

Salamandrella sonani Maki, 1922, Zool. Mag., Tokyo, 34: 636. Type(s): Not designated although likely TIU according to Brame, 1972, Checklist Living & Fossil Salamand. World (Unpubl. MS): 16; now lost; by implication of statements by Maeda and Matsui, 1990, Frogs Toads Japan, Ed. 2, that collection destroyed in WWII, and according to Fei, Hu, Ye, and Huang, 2006, Fauna Sinica, Amph. 1: 151. NMNS 19872 designated neotype by Nishikawa, Ju, Jheng, Lin, Hara, Lai, Lin, and Lue, 2021, Zootaxa, 4981: 194. Type locality: "Mt. Noko, Taichushu, altitude about 10,000 feet", Taiwan, China, according to Maki, 1928, Annot. Zool. Japon., 11: 130. Given as "Mt. Moritaka, Formosa" according to Gee and Boring, 1929, Peking Nat. Hist. Bull., 4: 18. Neotype from "Zhuifen, Nantou, Taiwan". 

Hynobius sonaniDunn, 1923, Proc. Am. Acad. Arts Sci., 58: 479.

Pseudosalamandra sonaniTago, 1929, Zool. Mag., Tokyo, 41: 431. Based 

Hynobius sonaniOkada, 1934, Copeia, 1934: 18.

Hynobius (Poyarius) sonaniDubois and Raffaëlli, 2012, Alytes, 28: 77–161. Based on specimens of Hynobius formosanus. See comment. 

Hynobius (Makihynobius) sonani — Fei, Ye, and Jiang, 2012, Colored Atlas Chinese Amph. Distr.: 48. Based on specimens of Hynobius formosanus. See comment. 

Poyarius sonani — Dubois, Ohler, and Pyron, 2021, Megataxa, 5: 407. Presumably based on Hynobius formosanus. See comment. 

English Names

Taichu Salamander (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 28).

Sonan's Hynobiid (Fei, 1999, Atlas Amph. China: 26).

Sonan's Salamander (Lue, Tu, and Hsiang, 1999, Atlas Taiwan Amph. Rept.: 26).

Yushan Salamander (Sparreboom, 2014, Salamanders Old World: 89).


Known from 2100 to 2900 m elevation on the central mountain range of Taiwan.


In the Hynobius naevius group. Redescribed by Maki, 1928, Annot. Zool. Japon., 11: 129–131. Reviewed by Sato, 1941, Trans. Nat. Hist. Formosa, 31: 114–124. Nishikawa, Ju, Jheng, Lin, Hara, Lai, Lin, and Lue, 2021, Zootaxa, 4981: 188–196, resolved a terrible nomenclatural problem based on early confusions of specimens that rendered most publication using the name Hynbius sonani for populations of Hynobius formosus, and vice versa. By discussing the historical problem and designating neotypes they resolved the nomenclatural problem, but, basically almost all literature addressing these salamanders after the 1940s had the identifications backwards. See accounts by Ye, Fei, and Hu, 1993, Rare and Economic Amph. China: 36 (as Hynobius sonani), by Thorn and Raffaëlli, 2000, Salamand. Ancien Monde: 91–93 (as Hynobius formosanus), and Lue, Tu, and Hsiang, 1999, Atlas Taiwan Amph. Rept.: 26–27 (as Hynobius sonani). See Fei, 1999, Atlas Amph. China, for figure, brief account (as Hynobius formosanus), and distribution map. Fei, Hu, Ye, and Huang, 2006, Fauna Sinica, Amph. 1: 151–154, provided an account (as Hynobius formosanus). See brief account (as Hynobius formosanus) by Raffaëlli, 2007, Les Urodèles du Monde: 43. See illustration, map, description of geographic range and habitat, and conservation status in Stuart, Hoffmann, Chanson, Cox, Berridge, Ramani, and Young, 2008, Threatened Amph. World: 551 (as Hynobius formosanus). Fei, Ye, and Jiang, 2010, Colored Atlas of Chinese Amph.: 47, provided a brief account (as Hynobius formosanus) including photographs and an illustration of specimens. Fei, Ye, and Jiang, 2012, Colored Atlas Chinese Amph. Distr.: 48, provided an account (as Hynobius formosanus), photographs, and map for China. Raffaëlli, 2013, Urodeles du Monde, 2nd ed.: 59, provided a brief account (as Hynobius formosanus), photo, and map. Sparreboom, 2014, Salamanders Old World: 89–90, reviewed the biology, characteristics, distribution, reproduction, and conservation of the species (as Hynobius formosanus).  See account, photograph, and map by Fei and Ye, 2016, Amph. China, 1: 183–185 (as Hynobius sonani). Guo, Yang, and Li, 2009, Colored Illust. Amph. Rept. Taiwan: 59, provided a brief account (as Hynobius formosanus), photographs, and map. Raffaëlli, 2022, Salamanders & Newts of the World: 69–70, provided an account, summarizing systematics, life history, and distribution (including a polygon map).  

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