Pseudohynobius Fei and Yang, 1983

Class: Amphibia > Order: Caudata > Family: Hynobiidae > Subfamily: Hynobiinae > Genus: Pseudohynobius
6 species

Pseudohynobius Fei and Yang, 1983, Amph. Res., Kunming, 2: 1. Type species: Hynobius flavomaculatus Hu and Fei, 1978, by original designation.

Protohynobius Fei and Ye, 2000, Cultum Herpetol. Sinica, 8: 65, 70. Type species: Protohynobius puxiongensis Fei and Ye, 2000, by original designation. Synonymy by Peng, Zhang, Xiong, Gu, Zeng, and Zou, 2010, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 56: 257.

English Names

None noted.


Western Hubei, northern Guizhou and Sichuan provinces, China, extending south to the northernmost spurs of the Guizhou Plateau, 1700-1845 m elevation.


Considered a synonym of Ranodon by Zhao and Hu, 1984, Stud. Chinese Tailed Amph.: 62, Zhao and Wu, 1995, Sichuan J. Zool., 14: 20-24; Xu, 2001, Sichuan J. Zool., 20: 180; and Kuzmin and Thiesmeier, 2001, Adv. Amph. Res. Former Soviet Union, 6: 13. Recognized as distinct by Ye, Fei, and Hu, 1993, Rare and Economic Amph. China 46; Fei, 1999, Atlas Amph. China; and Fei and Ye, 2001, Color Handbook Amph. Sichuan: 44; and Zhang, Chen, Zhou, Liu, Wang, Papenfuss, Wake, and Qu, 2006, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 103: 7360-7365. Zeng, Fu, Chen, Tian, and Chen, 2006, Biochem. Syst. Ecol., 34: 467-477, suggested on the basis of molecular evidence that Liua and Pseudohynobius are sister taxa and that at least two species remain unnamed in Pseudohynobius, one a population from Kuankuoshui (now Pseudohynobius kuankuoshuiensis) and the other from Jinfoshan and Baimashan (now Pseudohynobius jinfo), both in the Dalou Mountain area. Wei, Xiong, and Zeng, 2009, Zootaxa, 2149: 62-68, provided a key to the four species in the genus. Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543-583, suggested a phylogenetic placement of Pseudohynobius but did not include Protohynobius in their analysis and retained it as a genus without comment. Peng, Zhang, Xiong, Gu, Zeng, and Zou, 2010, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 56: 252-258, had placed Protohynobius into the synonymy of Pseudohynobius on the basis of it being found to form the sister taxon of their exemplars of Pseudohynobius. Dubois and Raffaëlli, 2012, Alytes, 28: 77-161, recognized Protohynobius as a monotypic subgenus of Pseudohynobius. Zhao, Su, Zhang, and Wang, 2016, Genet. Mol. Res., 15 (2:gmr.15028155): 1–7, provided a ML and MrBayes tree of the species that placed Protohynobius as the sister taxon of Pseudohynobius and accepted the synonymy of the two genera. Fei and Ye, 2016, Amph. China, 1: 203–210, criticized the synonymy of Protohynobius with Pseudohynobius, although the molecular evidence of Peng et al. (2010) and Zhao et al. (2016) was not rejected. So, we have a situation where three traditions of taxonomy exist: a) two genera, Protohynobius and Pseudohynobius (Fei and Ye); b) one genus (Peng et al., 2010, and Zhao et al., 2016); and c) one genus, Pseudohynobius with two sister subgenera (Protohynobius and Pseudohynobius) (Dubois and Raffaelli, 2012). Inasmuch as all three approaches are consistent with the accepted evolutionary tree, this catalogue follows the preponderance of usage, which is think is the union of "b" and "c". Fei and Ye, 2016, Amph. China, 1: 211–228, provided a key, accounts, and range maps for the species of China. Sparreboom, 2014, Salamanders Old World: 131–138, reviewed the biology, characteristics, distribution, reproduction, and conservation of the species. Jia, Gao, Jiang, Bever, Xiong, and Wei, 2021, J. Anat., 238: 219–248, discussed cranial anatomy (including Protohynobius) as well as the taxonomic controversy surrounding the generic taxonomy of these salamanders. 

Contained taxa (6 sp.):

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