Chiropterotriton orculus (Cope, 1865)

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

Spelerpes orculus Cope, 1865, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 17: 196. Syntypes: USNM or ANSP, lost according to Brame and Gorham, 1972, Checklist Living & Fossil Salamand. World (Unpubl. MS): 277. MVZ 138783 designated neotype by Parra-Olea, García-Castillo, Rovito, Maisano, Hanken, and Wake, 2020, PeerJ, 8(e8800):  50. Type locality: "Mexican Table Land". Neotype from " from the ridge between Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl, along Mexican Hwy. 196, 16.2 km by road east jct Mexican Hwy. 115, Mexico, Mexico, 3,300 masl, 19.0973°N, 98.6829°W."

Chiropterotriton orculusDarda, 1994, Herpetologica, 50: 164–187.

English Names

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

Los Leones Splayfoot Salamander (Raffaëlli, 2022, Salamanders & Newts of the World: 808).


Restricted to the central and eastern portion of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt in in the Distrito Federal, México, and Tlaxcala (La Marquesa, Desierto de los Leones, Ajusco, Lagunas de Zempoala, Iztaccihuatl, Popocatépetl, Rio Frio and La Malinche) in pine and fir forest and is terrestrial, 2500 to 3,500 m elevation. 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Mexico

Endemic: Mexico


See comment under Chiropterotriton chiropterus. Removed from the synonymy of Chiropterotriton chiropterus by Darda, 1994, Herpetologica, 50: 167-187, where it had been placed by Cope, 1869, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 21: 106. See discussion by Parra-Olea, 2003, Canad. J. Zool., 81: 2058, who differed with Darda to which population this name applies. Campbell, Streicher, Cox, and Brodie, 2014, S. Am. J. Herpetol.: 231, provided a useful table of updated comparative morphology of the species. Raffaëlli, 2013, Urodeles du Monde, 2nd ed.: 294, provided a brief account, photograph, and map and who noted nine unnamed species on the basis of evidence published by Darda (1994). 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: 808–809, provided an account summarizing systematics, life history, population status, and distribution (including a polygon map).

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.