Urspelerpes

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Urspelerpes
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Urodela
Family: Plethodontidae
Subfamily: Hemidactyliinae
Genus: Urspelerpes
Camp et al., 2009[2]
Species: U. brucei
Binomial name
Urspelerpes brucei
Camp et al., 2009[2]

Urspelerpes brucei, the patch-nosed salamander, is a lungless miniature salamander found in streams of Georgia and South Carolina, United States.[1][3] The species is the sole member of the genus Urspelerpes within the family Plethodontidae (the lungless salamanders).[4] It marks the first discovery of an endemic amphibian genus from the United States since the Red Hills salamander (Phaeognathus) in 1961.[5]

Description[edit]

This genus is believed to be closely related to brook salamanders (genus Eurycea), but have five toes on their feet. A distinctive characteristic is a yellowish patch on the snout. Urspelerpes is tiny, and adults are about 5 cm (2 in) long. Males and females have different coloration, with males having a pair of dark stripes running down their bodies, with yellow backs, and females being more muted in color (a more common trait in birds). Similar to other salamander species, this genus is believed to eat small terrestrial prey using its projectile tongue.[6]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The description of the species, published online in June 2009, for the Journal of Zoology, was based on specimens collected at Stephens County, Georgia, (near Toccoa[7]) in 2007, and several other sites in a region rich in salamander species. U. brucei is endemic to the United States and is its second-smallest salamander.[8]

Etymology[edit]

The name Urspelerpes means "archaic" (ur) and "cave creeper" (spelerpes) in Ancient Greek. The specific epithet brucei honors a professor at Western Carolina University, Richard Bruce.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (2013). "Urspelerpes brucei". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 27 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Camp, C. D.; Peterman, W. E.; Milanovich, J. R.; Lamb, T.; Maerz, J. C.; Wake, D. B. (2009). "A new genus and species of lungless salamander (family Plethodontidae) from the Appalachian highlands of the south-eastern United States" (PDF). Journal of Zoology. 279: 1–9. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2009.00593.x. 
  3. ^ Frost, Darrel R. (2015). "Urspelerpes brucei Camp, Peterman, Milanovich, Lamb, Maerz, and Wake, 2009". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 27 August 2015. 
  4. ^ Frost, Darrel R. (2015). "Urspelerpes Camp, Peterman, Milanovich, Lamb, Maerz, and Wake, 2009". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 27 August 2015. 
  5. ^ Matt Walker (2009-07-08). "BBC - Earth News - Striking salamander species found". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  6. ^ Matt Walker (July 8, 2009). "Striking salamander species found". Earth News. BBC News Online. Retrieved July 10, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Alumni Magazine: Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources" (PDF). Warnell.uga.edu. 2011-11-11. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  8. ^ a b "Warnell researchers help discover second smallest salamander in U.S.". Warnell News. Daniel B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. July 7, 2009. Retrieved July 9, 2009. 

External links[edit]