Thorius pennatulus Cope, 1869

Class: Amphibia > Order: Caudata > Family: Plethodontidae > Subfamily: Hemidactyliinae > Genus: Thorius > Species: Thorius pennatulus

Thorius pennatulus Cope, 1869, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 21: 111. Syntypes: Originally USNM 6341 (7 specimens), now lost; USNM 111017 designated neotype by Taylor, 1941, Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull., 27: 107; Malnate, 1971, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 123: 348, regarded ANSP 1269 as a surviving syntype, casting the neotype designation in dougt. Type locality: "Orizava, Mexico"; probably near the city of Orizaba, Veracruz, Mexico, according to Taylor and Smith, 1945, Proc. U.S. Natl. Mus., 95: 534; Taylor, 1940 "1939", Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull., 26: 414. Placed on Official List of Specific Names in Zoology by Opinion 1605, Anonymous, 1990, Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 47: 168.

Thorius pennatribus Anonymous, 1869, Am. Nat., 3: 222. (Author was evidently Cope.) Types not stated; ANSP 1269 regarded as a 'cotype' by Fowler and Dunn, 1917, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 69: 21. Type locality not stated. Given as "Orizaba, Mexico" by Fowler and Dunn, 1917, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 69: 21. This anonymous publication (actually Cope, according to Cope, 1869, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 21: 111) cited in 'formal' subsequent description under different name. Suppressed for purposes of Priority but not for Homonymy by Opinion 1605, Anonymous, 1990, Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 47: 168.

Spelerpes minimus Wiedersheim, 1877, Morphol. Jahrb., 3: 544. Syntypes: Not stated or known to exist. Type locality: Not stated; given as "Veracruz", Mexico, by Brame and Gorham, 1972, Checklist Living & Fossil Salamand. World (Unpubl. MS): 302. Tentative synonymy by Dunn, 1926, Salamanders Fam. Plethodontidae: 374.

Thorius pinnatulusSumichrast, 1882, Naturaleza, Ser. 2, 1: 79. Incorrect subsequent spelling.

Thorius pennatribusFowler and Dunn, 1917, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 69: 21.

Oedipus pennatulusDunn, 1922, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, 35: 5.

Thorius pennatulusTaylor, 1941, Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull., 27: 107; Hanken and Wake, 1998, Copeia, 1998: 312-345.

Thorius pennatulus pennatulusShannon and Werler, 1955, Trans. Kansas Acad. Sci., 58: 364.

English Names

Veracruz Pigmy Salamander (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 34; Liner and Casas-Andreu, 2008, Herpetol. Circ., 38: 37).

Veracruz Minute Salamander (Raffaëlli, 2022, Salamanders & Newts of the World: 812).

Volcan Orizaba Pigmy Salamander (Thorius pennatulus pennatulus: Liner, 1994, Herpetol. Circ., 23: 15).


Known from low mountains in central-western Veracruz, Mexico, 800–2000 m elevation, from Soledad Atzompa in the south and west east to Cerro Chicahuaxtla, north to Teocelo.

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Mexico

Endemic: Mexico


See account by Hanken and Wake, 1998, Copeia, 1998: 312–345. See map, description of geographic range and habitat, and conservation status in Stuart, Hoffmann, Chanson, Cox, Berridge, Ramani, and Young, 2008, Threatened Amph. World: 597. Raffaëlli, 2013, Urodeles du Monde, 2nd ed.: 296, provided a brief account, photograph, and map. See account by Cázares-Hernández, Molohua Tzitzihua, Méndez Quiahua, Quiahua Colotl, Temoxtle Marquez, Rodriguez Merino, and Apale Pacheco, 2018, Tlaconetes: 1–92, for photos, habitat, life history, and conservation status. Contreras-Calvario, Castillo Juárez, Avalos Vela, Cerón de la Luz, and Mora-Reyes, 2019, Rev. Latinoam. Herpetol., 2: 64–70, provided additional localities in Veracruz, Mexico. Raffaëlli, 2022, Salamanders & Newts of the World: 812–813, provided an account summarizing systematics, life history, population status, and distribution (including a polygon map). Tighe, 2022, Smithson. Contrib. Zool., 654: 61, briefly discussed the location of paratypes of Thorius pennatulus.   

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