Family Friday

Salamandridae

Number of Subfamilies: 3 – Pleurodelinae, Salamandrinae, Salamandrininae
Number of Genera: 21
Pleurodelinae – Calotriton, Cynops, Echinotriton, Euproctus, Ichthyosaura, Laotriton, Lissotriton, Neurergus, Notophthalmus, Ommatotriton, Pachytriton, Paramesotriton, Pleurodeles, Taricha, Triturus, and Tylototriton
Salamandrinae – Chioglossa, Lyciasalamandra, Mertensiella, and Salamandra
Salamandrininae – Salamandrina
Number of Species: 119

The family Salamandridae contains salamanders and newts. Often members of the family are called “True Salamanders” because they have smooth skin but there are members with rough skin. The subfamily Pleurodelinae is home to the newts. It’s the largest subfamily. The family is found in Europe, the United States, Asia, and the northern tip of Africa.

The members of the family use internal fertilization for breeding, but some lay eggs and some give birth to live offspring.

Pleurodelinae

The genus Calotriton is known as the European Brook Newts. There are only two newts in the genus, Montseny Brook Newt (Calotriton arnoldi) and the Pyrenean Brook Salamander (Calotriton asper).

Oriental Fire-bellied Newt (Cynops orientalis)
Oriental Fire-bellied Newt (Cynops orientalis)

The Fire bellied Newts are members of the genus Cynops. They are naturally found in China and Japan.

The genus Echinotriton is known as the Mountain Newts or Spiny Newts. They are found in China and Japan.

European Mountain Salamanders Euproctus are found on the island of of Sardinia and Corsica.

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Alpine Newt

Alpine Newt (Ichthyosaura alpestris)is the only newt in the genus Ichthyosaura. It is found throughout central Europe.

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Photo by Henk Wallays

The genus Laotriton is home to only 1 species of newt, the Laos Warty Newt (Laotriton laoensis). It is obviously found in Laos but it’s only found there. It is listed as an endangered species by the IUCN.

The genus Lissotriton is found in Europe and Asia minor.

The genus Neurergus contains the Spotted Newts. They are found in the Middle East but mostly Turkey and Iran.

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Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus  viridescens)

The genus Notophthalmus is known as the North American Newts because they are found in North America (duh).

The genus Ommatotriton is known as the Banded Newts. There are only two species in the genus – the Northern Banded Newt (Ommatotriton ophryticus) and the Southern Banded Newt (Ommatotriton vittatus).  They are found in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

The genus Pachytriton is known as the Chinese Newts. They are found in Southeastern China.

The genus Paramesotriton is known Asian Warty Newts.

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Iberian Ribbed Newt

The Ribbed Newts, Pleurodeles, are found in Northern Africa and the Iberian Peninsula.

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Rough Skinned Newt

The Pacific Newts, Taricha, are found on the western coast of the United States and Mexico.

Great Crested Newt – photo by Rainer Theuer

The genus Triturus is found throughout Europe from Great Britain to Serbia. The genus contains the Crested and Marbled Newts.

The genus Tylototriton is known as the Crocodile Newts or Knobby Newts. They are found throughout Southeast Asia.

Salamandrinae

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Gold Striped Salamander

There is only one salamander in the genus Chioglossa, it is the Gold-striped Salamander (Chioglossa lusitanica). It is found in Spain and Portugal.

The salamanders of the genus Lyciasalamandra are commonly referred to as the Lycian salamanders. All the member of the genus are found in Turkey or the Aegean Islands in Greece.

The only salamander in the genus Mertensiella is the Caucasian Salamander (Mertensiella caucasica). It is found in Turkey and Georgia and is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN Red list.

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Corsican Fire Salamander (Salamandra corsica)

The genus Salamandra is known as the fire salamanders because most of the species are different fire salamanders. The genus is spread throughout Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa.

Salamandrininae

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photo by Clemens M. Brandstetter

This subfamily only has two species of salamanders in it that come from the same genus. They are the Northern Spectacled Salamander (Salamandrina perspicillata) and the Southern Spectacled Salamander (Salamandrina terdigitata). Both salamanders are found only in the Apennine Mountains in Italy.

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Family Friday

Cycloramphidae

Suborder: Neobatrachia
Number of Genera: 2 or 3 – Cycloramphus, Thoropa , and Zachaenus
Number of Species: 34 or 36

The family Cycloramphidae is found in only Southeastern Brazil. The placement of the genus Zachaenus is questioned by some sources. Some have it in the family, some don’t.

The genus Cycloramphus is sometimes known as the Button Frogs.

The genus Thoropa is known as the River Frogs.

The genus Zachaenus is called the Bug Eyed Frogs.

Family Friday

Alsodidae

Alsodidae

Subfamily: Neobatrachia
Number of Genera: 3 – Alsodes (19), Eupsophus (6), and Limnomedusa (1)
Number of Species: 26

Alsodidae is a family of frogs from South America. It used to be part of the family Leptodactylidae and Cycloramphidae before eventually winding up its own family.

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Olive Spiny-chest Frog by José Grau de Puerto Montt

The genus Alsodes is known as the Spiny Chest Frogs. They have received the name because the males grow spine-like projections on their chest during the breeding season. They are found in Chile and Argentina.

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Emilio’s Ground Frog by José Grau de Puerto Montt

The genus Eupsophus is nicknamed the Ground Frogs, even though there’s other genera nicknamed that. It is found in the Patagonia in Argentina and Chile.

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Rapid’s Frog by Axel Kwet

The Rapid’s Frog (Limnomedusa macroglossa) is the only member of the genus Limnomedusa. It is found in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

Family Friday

Plethodontidae – Lungless Salamanders

Plethodontidae – Lungless Salamanders

Number of Subfamilies: 2 – Hemidactyliinae and Plethodontinae
Number of Genera: 28
Number of Species: 471

Plethodontidae is the largest family of salamanders. It is nicknamed the lungless salamanders because none of the species have lungs! The family is thought to diverged in the Appalachian Mountain range in the United States. Most of the family is found in the New World of North America, Central America, and South America, but there are a few species in European and South Korea.

Hemidactyliinae

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California slender salamander by Stephen Friedt

The genus Batrachoseps is known as the Slender Salamanders. They can be identified from most other salamanders from the family because they have 4 toes on each foot. Most species are found in California but they are also in Oregon and Baja California.

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Mexican Climbing Salamander by Josiah H. Townsend

The genus Bolitoglossa is nicknamed the tropical climbing salamanders because they are found from Mexico down to Brazil and that they can climb trees. They are also called the Web-footed Salamanders but only like half the species have webbing. Two species in the family are actually poisonous, the Ringtail Salamander (Bolitoglossa rostrata) and the La Palma Salamander (Bolitoglossa subpalmata).

The genus Bradytriton has only one species – Finca Chiblac Salamander (Bradytriton silus). It is found only in Guatemala.

Chiropterotriton is known as the Splayfoot Salamanders or Flat-footed Salamanders. They are found only in Mexico.

Cryptotriton is known as the Hidden Salamanders. They are found in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala.

Dendrotriton is known as the Bromeliad Salamanders. They are found in Central America and South America.

Texas Blind Salamander (Eurycea rathbuni)

Eurycea is known as the Brook Salamanders, Blind Salamanders, and Cave Salamanders. They are found in North America.

Tennessee Cave Salamander (Gyrinophilus palleucus)

Gyrinophilus is known as the Spring Salamanders. They are found in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern United States and Canada.

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Four Toed Salamander by Brian Gratwicke

The Four-Toed Salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum)is the only member of the genus Hemidactylium. It is found in the eastern part of the United States and Canada.

The genus Nototriton is home to salamanders called the “Moss” Salamanders. They are found in Central America.

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Long-limbed Salamander by Sean Michael Rovito

The Long-limbed Salamander (Nyctanolis pernix) is the only member of the genus Nyctanolis. It is found in Guatemala and Mexico.

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Taylor’s Worm Salamander by Vladlen Henríquez

The genus Oedipina is named the Worm Salamanders because they have long slender bodies and tiny limbs.

Townsend’s dwarf salamander (Parvimolge townsendi) is the only member of the genus Parvimolge. It is found in Mexico.

The genera Pseudoeurycea is known as the False Brook Salamanders. They are found from Mexico to Guatemala.

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Red Salamander by Leif Van Laar

The genera Pseudotriton is known as the Red or Mud Salamanders. They are found in the eastern United States.

The Many-lined Salamander (Stereochilus marginatus) is the only species of the genus. It is found in southeastern United States.

The Minute Salamanders are from the genus Thorius. They are named after their small bodies. They are found in Mexico.

The Patch-nosed Salamander (Urspelerpes brucei) is the only species from the genus Urspelerpes. It is only found in the state of Georgia in the United States.

Plethodontinae

The genus Aneides is known as the Climbing Salamanders. They are found in the USA, Canada, and Mexico. They have prehensile tails.

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Black Belly Salamander by Fredlyfish4

The Dusky Salamanders are from the genus Desmognathus. They are found in the eastern half of the United States and Canada.

Ensatina eschscholtzii photo by Marshal Hedin

The genus Ensatina only has one species – Ensatina Salamander (Ensatina eschscholtzii). It is found on the West Coast, from Baja California up to British Columbia.

The genus Hydromantes is named the Web-Toed Salamanders. They are found in California and in Europe (mostly Spain). Some have separated the salamanders into two genera because of the distance between the group, Speleomantes being the European genus.

Korean Crevice Salamander by Todd Pierson

Korean Crevice Salamander (Karsenia koreana) is the only member of it’s genus. More importantly, it’s the only Plethodontid from Asia.

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Red Hills Salamander – (Phaeognathus hubrichti) photo by John P. Clare

The Red Hills Salamander is only found in Georgia and is the only member of it’s genus.

Red Backed Salamander by  Rklawton

The genus Plethodon is known as the Woodland Salamanders or Slimy Salamanders. They are found in Southern Canada and the United States.

Family Friday

Ichthyophiidae – Asiatic Tailed Caecilians

Number of Genera: 2 – Ichthyophis (50) and Uraeotyphlus (7)
Number of Species: 57

Ichthyophiliidae is a primitive family of caecilians. They still have a true tail and scales. Members of the family lay their eggs in the ground, the larva hatch from the eggs and move into water bodies to complete their metamorphosis.

The genus Uraeotyphlus is found in the Western Ghats of India. They are relatively small for a caecilian, only reaching a foot max.

The genus Ichthyophis is found in Southeast Asia.

Images from Ajith U and Venu Govindappa

Family Friday

Batrachylidae

Suborder: Neobatrachia
Number of Genera: 4 – Atelognathus, Batrachyla, Chaltenobatrachus, and Hylorina
Number of Species: 15

Batrachylidae is a family of frogs from Chile and Argentina. It used to be a subfamily of the family Ceratophryidae, the Horned Frogs, but were removed because of genetics sequencing and it’s actually closer related to Rhinodermatidae.

Patagonia Frog by Boris Blotto

The genus Atelognathus is known as the Patagonia frogs. It is from the Patagonia in southern Argentina and Chile.

The genus Batrachyla is known as the Southern Wood Frogs because they look like the Wood Frog.

The genus Chaltenobatrachus only has one species Puerto Eden frog Chaltenobatrachus grandisonae which is also found in the Patagonia. It’s named after the location where they found in Puerto Edén, Chile.

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Emerald Forest Frog by José Grau de Puerto Montt

The only species in the genus Hylorina is the Emerald Forest Frog (Hylorina sylvatica). It is found in the austral forests along the eastern slopes of the Andes Mountain range in Chile and Argentina.

Family Friday

Proteidae

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Gulf Coast Waterdog by Brad M. Glorioso

Number of Genera: 2 – Necturus (5) and Proteus (1)
Number of Species: 6

Proteidae is a family of aquatic salamanders found in North America and the Balkans. The members of the family retain their gills into adulthood and have four limbs unlike Sirens, Amphiuma, and Caecilians. Often these species are confused with Axolotls but Axolotl’s belong to a different family.

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Mud Puppy from the National Park Service

The genus Necturus is found in Eastern North America. The Mudpuppies and Waterdogs make up this genus. They are found in lakes, ponds, and streams. Mudpuppies and Waterdogs are active usually during the night to hide but can be active during the day in muddy waters.

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Olm by Arne Hodalič

The genus Proteus has only one living species left in it, the Olm (Proteus anguinus) which is found in the Balkans in Europe. The Olm lives in underground caves with water inside.

Family Friday

Ptychadenidae – Grassland Frogs

Suborder: Neobatrachia
Number of Genera: 3 – Hildebrandtia, Lanzarana, Ptychadena
Number of Species: 53

Ptychadenidae is a family of frogs from Sub-Saharan Africa. The family used to be part of Ranidae – the True Frog family but was changed to it’s own family.

The genus Hildebrandtia is named the Hildebrandt’s burrowing frog or Ornate Frogs.

The genus Lanzarana only has one species, the Lanza’s frog (Lanzarana largeni). It is found only in Somalia.

The genus Ptychadena is known as the Grass Frogs or Rigid Frogs. This genus has also been introduced outside of sub-Saharan Africa in places such as Madagascar, Seychelles Islands, and Mascarene Islands.

Images by Jjargoud  and Ryanvanhuyssteen
Family Friday

Scolecomorphidae – African Caecilians

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Genera: 2 – Crotaphatrema (3) and Scolecomorphus (3)
Species: 6

Scolecomorphidae is the African or tropical Caecilian family. The species in the family are found in Africa and split west and east. The genus Crotaphatrema is found in the west in Cameroon and the genus Scolecomorphus is found in the east in Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania. Scolecomorphus is also viviparous meaning they give live birth, not lay eggs.

These caecilians only have vestigial eyes that are attached to tentacles under their mouth. They also have only primary annuli instead of secondary or tertiary annuli which all other caecilians have. Annuli are grooves that run around the caecilian’s body.

Image from http://www.tawilco.co.tz/wildlife-item/ribbon-caecilian/
Family Friday

Dicamptodontidae – Pacific Giant Salamanders

Genera:1 – Dicamptodon
Number of Species: 4

The family Dicamptodontidae is nicknamed the Pacific Giant Salamanders after the fact that they are large salamanders, but not as big as the members of the family Cryptobranchidae such as the Hellbender or the Chinese Giant Salamander.  But, the Pacific Giant Salamanders are some of the largest terrestrial salamanders in the world, reaching almost 14 inches long. hey are found on the Pacific Coast of North America from California up to Canada. Now, we will move onto the individual species of the family Dicamptodontidae.

As the name suggests, the Idaho Giant Salamander is primarily found in Idaho but it is also found in Montana. It can reach up to 13 inches long.

The Cope’s Giant Salamander is found in Washington and Oregon. They almost never metamorphose so they retain their gills into adulthood.

The California Giant Salamander only makes it home in the northern half of the state of California. It is listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN.

The Coastal Giant Salamander lives from California up to barely in British Columbia on the west coast.