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Asiatic salamander

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Asiatic salamanders
Temporal range: Miocene–Recent
Hynobius fossigenus
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Urodela
Suborder: Cryptobranchoidea
Family: Hynobiidae
Cope, 1859


The Asiatic salamanders (family Hynobiidae) are primitive salamanders found all over Asia, and in European Russia. They are closely related to the giant salamanders (family Cryptobranchidae), with which they form the suborder Cryptobranchoidea. About half of hynobiids currently described are endemic to Japan, but their range also covers parts of china, Russia, Afghanistan and iran.[1][2]

Hynobiid salamanders practice external fertilization, or spawning. And, unlike other salamander families which reproduce internally, male hynobiids focus on egg sacs rather than females during breeding.[3] The female lays two egg sacs at a time, each containing up to 70 eggs. Parental care is common.[4]

A few species have very reduced lungs, or no lungs at all. Larvae can sometimes have reduced external gills if they live in cold and very oxygen-rich water.[5]

Fossils of hynobiids are known from the Miocene to the present in Asia and Eastern Europe, though fossils of Cryptobranchoids more closely related to hynobiids than to giant salamanders extend back to the Middle Jurassic.[6]


Cladograms based on the work of Pyron and Wiens (2011)[7] and modified using Mikko Haaramo [8]


Currently, 81 species are known. These genera make up the Hynobiidae:

Subfamily Hynobiinae

Subfamily Onychodactylinae


  1. ^ (Hasumi 2002).
  2. ^ Pough, F. Harvey (July 15, 2015). Herpetology (4th ed.). Sinauer Associates is an imprint of Oxford University Press. p. 47. ISBN 978-1605352336.
  3. ^ (Hasumi, 2002).
  4. ^ Lanza, B.; Vanni., S. & Nistri, A. (1998). Cogger, H.G. & Zweifel, R.G. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 69. ISBN 0-12-178560-2.
  5. ^ Hasumi, M. (2002). About hynobiids. Retrieved May 8, 2005 from [1].
  6. ^ Jia, Jia; Anderson, Jason S.; Gao, Ke-Qin (2021-07-23). "Middle Jurassic stem hynobiids from China shed light on the evolution of basal salamanders". iScience. 24 (7): 102744. doi:10.1016/j.isci.2021.102744. ISSN 2589-0042. PMC 8264161. PMID 34278256.
  7. ^ Pyron, R.A.; Weins, J.J. (2011). "A large-scale phylogeny of Amphibia including over 2800 species, and a revised classification of advanced frogs, salamanders, and caecilians" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 61 (2): 543–853. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.06.012. PMID 21723399.
  8. ^ Haaramo, Mikko (2011). "Caudata – salamanders". Mikko's Phylogeny Archive.

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