Gyrinophilus Cope, 1869

Class: Amphibia > Order: Caudata > Family: Plethodontidae > Subfamily: Hemidactyliinae > Genus: Gyrinophilus
4 species

Gyrinophilus Cope, 1869, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 21: 108–109. Type species: Salamandra porphyritica Green, 1827, by monotypy.

English Names

Purple Salamanders (Jordan, 1878, Man. Vert. North. U.S., Ed. 2: 194; Fowler, 1907, Annu. Rep. N.J. State Mus. for 1906: 62).

Spring Salamanders (Conant, Cagle, Goin, Lowe, Neill, Netting, Schmidt, Shaw, Stebbins, and Bogert, 1956, Copeia, 1956: 174; Collins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 7; Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 24; Tilley, Highton, and Wake, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 28; Highton, Bonett, and Jockusch, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 28).

Cave Salamanders (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 31).


Appalachian uplift of the eastern USA and adjacent Canada.


See revision by Brandon, 1966, Illinois Biol. Monogr., 35: 1–86. See also account by Brandon, 1967, Cat. Am. Amph. Rept., 31: 1–2. Grobman, 1959, Copeia, 1959: 60–63, suggested that Gyrinophilus should be included in the genus Pseudotriton Tschudi, 1838, but this was rejected by Martof and Rose, 1962, Copeia, 1962: 727–732, Brandon, 1966, Illinois Biol. Monogr., 35: 1–86, and Wake, 1966, Mem. S. California Acad. Sci., 4: 63. See species accounts by Petranka, 1998, Salamand. U.S. Canada: 280–288. Beachy, 2005, in Lannoo (ed.), Amph. Declines: 776–778, noted substantial ethologically and ecologically distinct populations in the southern Appalachians and suggested that cryptic species are involved. Chippindale, Bonett, Baldwin, and Wiens, 2004, Evolution, 58: 2809–2822, and Macey, 2005, Cladistics, 21: 194–202, regarded Gyrinophilus as the sister taxon of Stereochilus. Powell, Collins, and Hooper, 2011, Key Herpetofauna U.S. & Canada, 2nd Ed.: 15, provided a key to the species. See comment under Pseudotriton regarding the content of this genus. Kozak, Mendyk, and Wiens, 2009, Evolution, 63: 1769–1784, provided molecular evidence in support of the older idea that Pseudotriton and Gyrinophilus are sister taxa. See comments under Gyrinophilus porphyriticus and Pseudotriton montanus for additional relevant literature. Kuchta, Haughey, Wynn, Jacobs, and Highton, 2016, J. Biogeograph., 43: 639–652, reported on molecular phylogeography of the species and populations that showed strong discordance between their results and current taxonomy.  

Contained taxa (4 sp.):

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