Korean crevice salamander
|Korean crevice salamander|
Min et al., 2005
The Korean crevice salamander (Karsenia koreana) is a lungless salamander. It dwells under rocks in limestone forest areas of the Korean peninsula. It was discovered by Stephen J. Karsen, an American science teacher working in Daejeon, South Korea, in 2005.
Although plethodontid salamanders comprise seventy percent of salamander species worldwide, Karsenia koreana is the first member of this taxon known from Asia. Like other plethodontids, it lacks lungs and breathes through its moist skin.
Cladistic analysis using Bayesian analysis of molecular data places Karsenia koreana as sister group to the clade containing Aneides and the desmognathine salamanders. This implies that plethodontid salamanders may have had a worldwide range 60 to 100 million years ago. As the global climate cooled, New World taxa thrived while Old World populations declined. Other plants and animals currently found in Asia and North America share close relationships, showing a similar pattern of biogeography.
The species occurs in damp talus slopes and rockslides of limestone in young forests dominated by Pinus densiflora and Quercus mongolica, mostly under small stones. The species appears to do well in human-altered environments, is locally common, and reasonably widespread; IUCN sees no significant conservations threats and has classified it as of "Least Concern".
- Vieites et al. (2006). Karsenia koreana. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes a range map and justification for why this species is of least concern
- Min, M.S.; S. Y. Yang, R. M. Bonett, D. R. Vieites, R. A. Brandon & D. B. Wake (2005). "Discovery of the first Asian plethodontid salamander". Nature 435: 87–90. doi:10.1038/nature03474.
- Perlman, David (May 5, 2005). "American type of salamander in Korea". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 1 November 2012.