Monday, June 18, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Hynobius tosashimizuensis • Morphological and Molecular Analyses of Hynobius dunni Reveal A New Species from Shikoku, Japan

Hynobius tosashimizuensis 
 Sugawara, Watabe, Yoshikawa & Nagano, 2018

We describe a new species of lentic salamander of the genus Hynobius. From our examination of specimens from the Kyushu and Shikoku populations of Hynobius dunni, individuals of each population have distinct morphological and molecular traits. On this basis, we describe the Shikoku population as a new species. Morphological comparisons revealed that most individuals of H. dunni possessed distinct black spots on the dorsum, but that the new species lacks these spots. Furthermore, the mean snout–vent length was smaller for the new species than for the Kyushu population of H. dunni. Phylogenetic analyses with the use of fragments of the 16S rRNA and cytochrome b genes also distinguish the new species from individuals in the Kyushu population. The new species has been found in only seven artificial ponds, with approximately 80 clutches of eggs found each year. This endangered species might have the smallest distribution of all those in the genus Hynobius.

Keywords: Cryptic species, Discriminant analysis, Endangered species, Lentic salamander, Mitochondrial DNA

FIG. 4.—Holotype of Hynobius tosashimizuensis sp. nov. (TKPM-H131, adult male):
(A) dorsal view, (B) ventral view, and (C) lateral view.

Hynobius tosashimizuensis sp. nov.

Etymology.— The specific epithet is derived from ‘‘Tosashimizu City,’’ Kochi Prefecture, where the new species occurs. Suggested common name in Japanese: Tosashimizu-sanshouo. 

Hirotaka Sugawara, Takashi Watabe, Takaomi Yoshikawa and Masahiro Nagano. 2018. Morphological and Molecular Analyses of Hynobius dunni Reveal a New Species from Shikoku, Japan. Herpetologica. 74(2); 159-168.  DOI: 10.1655/Herpetologica-D-17-00002.1

New species of salamander identified in Shikoku: study - The Mainichi

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