Wednesday, March 2, 2016

[Herpetology • 2012] Pachytriton xanthospilos • A New Species of Pachytriton (Caudata: Salamandridae) from the Nanling Mountain Range, southeastern China

 Pachytriton xanthospilos 
Wu, Wang & Hanken, 2012  


New species of amphibians are being reported at an astonishingly fast rate. These include some that have been known to the commercial pet trade for years but have not been formally described due to uncertain origin. The distinctive phenotype of “Pachytriton B” among the Chinese stout newts (also known as paddle-tailed newts) is one such example. Through examination of museum specimens, we locate a population from Mt. Mang within the Nanling Mountain Range with morphology and coloration similar to Pachytriton B. Molecular phylogenetic analyses strongly suggest that this population and Pachytriton B belong to the same species, which differs from congeners morphologically and chromatically and is described here as a new species. This species is characterized by a large and stout body, uniformly light brown dorsum, and orange spots or blotches that extend ribbon-like along the dorsolateral sides of the body. A mitochondrial genealogy suggests that the new species is the sister taxon to the group (P. brevipes + P. feii). Morphologically, this species is significantly stouter than P. feii and has significantly longer limbs than P. brevipes. 

Key words: Chinese stout newt; salamander; mitochondrial genealogy; principal-components analysis; Pachytriton xanthospilos sp. nov.

Yunke WU, Yuezhao WANG and James HANKEN. 2012. New Species of Pachytriton (Caudata: Salamandridae) from the Nanling Mountain Range, southeastern China. Zootaxa. 3388: 1–16. 

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