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". 

Spelerpes laticeps Brocchi, 1883, Miss. Scient. Mex. Amer. Centr., Rech. Zool., 3(2, livr. 3): 110, pl. 18, fig. 1. Syntypes: MNHNP 4750 (4 specimens) (= Pseudoeurycea leprosa—D.B. Wake in Thireau, 1986, Cat. Types Urodeles Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat., Rev. Crit.: 36) and MNHNP A.843 (= Chiropterotriton chiropterus—D.B Wake IN Thireau, 1986, Cat. Types Urodeles Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat., Rev. Crit.: 36) Type locality: "Vera Cruz", Mexico; restricted to "Cruz Blanca", Veracruz, Mexico, by Smith and Taylor, 1950, Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull., 33: 347. See discussion by Thireau, 1986, Cat. Types Urodeles Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat., Rev. Crit.: 35-36.

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, Mexico, south to 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. Nine species, formerly associated under the name Chiropterotriton chiropterus, from high elevation of the states of Mexico, Puebla, Guerrero, Veracruz, San Luis Potosi, and Morelos, remain unnamed, although Lemos-Espinal and Smith, 2015, Check List, 11(1642): 1–11, noted the occurrence of the nominal species in Hidalgo, Mexico, apparently in error. 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. 

External links:

Please note: these links will take you to external websites not affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History. We are not responsible for their content.