Chiropterotriton chiropterus (Cope, 1863)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Caudata > Family: Plethodontidae > Subfamily: Hemidactyliinae > Genus: Chiropterotriton > Species: Chiropterotriton chiropterus

Spelerpes chiropterus Cope, 1863, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 15: 54. Type(s): Smithsonian Instituion, presumed lost although Tighe, 2022, Smithson. Contrib. Zool., 654: 58, suggested USNM 30347 may be the holotype in which case the neotype designation is invlaid. MVZ 85590 designated neotype by Parra-Olea, García-Castillo, Rovito, Maisano, Hanken, and Wake, 2020, PeerJ, 8(e8800): 46. Type locality: "Mirador, near Vera Cruz, Mexico". Neotype from "1.4 mi southwest by road southwest edge of Huatusco de Chicuellar, Veracruz, Mexico, 19.141388°N, 96.98083°W (EPE = max. error distance 1.202 mi). The estimated elevation is 1,400 masl". 

Oedipus chiropterusDunn, 1924, Field Mus. Nat. Hist. Publ., Zool. Ser., 12: 99.

Bolitoglossa chiropteraTaylor, 1940 "1939", Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull., 26: 410.

Chiropterotriton chiropteraTaylor, 1944, Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull., 30: 216.

Chiropterotriton chiropterusWake and Lynch, 1976, Sci. Bull. Nat. Hist. Mus. Los Angeles Co., 25: 59.

English Names

Common Splayfoot Salamander (Liner, 1994, Herpetol. Circ., 23: 11; Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 30).

Common Flat-footed Salamander (Liner and Casas-Andreu, 2008, Herpetol. Circ., 38: 30).

Huatusco Splayfoot Salamander (Raffaëlli, 2022, Salamanders & Newts of the World: 801).


Vicinity of the type locality near Huatusco de Chicuellar, Veracruz, and (see comment) the Sierra de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico, 1400 to 2170 m elevation. 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Mexico

Endemic: Mexico


Darda, 1994, Herpetologica, 50: 167–184, suggested that this binominal covers as many as eleven cryptic species; his population from near La Joya, Veracruz, he applied the name Chiropterotriton chiropterus; this application was rejected by Parra-Olea, 2003, Canad. J. Zool., 81: 2057, who noted that Chiropterotriton chiropterus is not found at this locality. To Darda's population from Chignahuapan, Puebla, Darda, 1994, Herpetologica, 50: 167–184, applied the name Chiropterotriton orculus; this was also rejected by Parra-Olea, 2003, Canad. J. Zool., 81: 2057, noted several named and unnamed species previously subsumed under the name Chiropterotriton chiropterus, from high elevations of the DF and the states of Hidalgo, Mexico, Morelos, Oaxaca, Puebla, and Veracruz, although Lemos-Espinal and Smith, 2015, Check List, 11(1642): 1–11, noted the occurrence of the nominal species in Hidalgo, Mexico. Lemos-Espinal and Dixon, 2016, Amph. Rept. Hidalgo: 333, provided a brief account and map for Hidalgo, Mexico. Uribe-Peña, Ramírez-Bautista, and Casas-Andreu, 1999, Cuad. Inst. Biol., UNAM, 32: 28–29, provided an account and provided the range of the complex. Raffaëlli, 2013, Urodeles du Monde, 2nd ed.: 293–294, provided a brief account, photograph, and map. Campbell, Streicher, Cox, and Brodie, 2014, S. Am. J. Herpetol.: 231, provided a useful table of updated comparative morphology of the species. See account in Parra-Olea, García-Castillo, Rovito, Maisano, Hanken, and Wake, 2020, PeerJ, 8(e8800): 1–71. Raffaëlli, 2022, Salamanders & Newts of the World: 801–802, provided an account summarizing systematics, life history, population status, and distribution (including a polygon map), and noting a pers. comm. from David Wake that this taxon is probably composed of two species, one in Veracruz and the other in Oaxaca, Mexico. See comment in synonymy of Chiropterotriton totonacus

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