Lungless salamander


Lungless salamander

Taxobox
name = Lungless salamanders



image_width = 240px
image_caption = "Desmognathus auriculatus"
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Amphibia
ordo = Caudata
familia = Plethodontidae
subdivision_ranks = Subfamilies
subdivision = See table.

Lungless salamanders (family "Plethodontidae") are distinguished from other families of salamanders by the following traits:
* No lungs. They conduct respiration through their skin and the tissues lining their mouths.
* Frequently no aquatic larval stage. In many species eggs are laid on land and young hatch already possessing an adult body form.
* Naso-labial groove. A slit lined with glands between the nostril and upper lip, used for chemoreception.

Measured in individual numbers, they are very successful tetrapods in areas where they occur. Some places they make up the dominant biomass of vertebrates. Due to their modest size and low metabolism, they are able to feed on prey such as collembola, which is usually too small for other terrestrial vertebrates, which gives them a whole ecological niche for themselves they can specialize in without competition from other groups.

Taxonomy

Plethodontidae includes many genera grouped under two subfamilies. Nearly four hundred species of plethodontid salamanders are known, making up the majority of known species [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 (5 May 2005)] . Only two of these species are found outside the Western hemisphere.

The family Plethodontidae consists of 4 subfamilies and about 380 species divided among the following genera:Following a major revision in 2006 the genus "Haideotriton" was found to be a synonym of "Eurycea" while the genera "Ixalotriton" and "Lineatriton" were made synonyms of "Pseudoeurycea". [Frost et al. 2006. THE AMPHIBIAN TREE OF LIFE (http://digitallibrary.amnh.org/dspace/bitstream/2246/5781/1/B297.pdf)]

References

External links

* [http://www.amphibiaweb.org/lists/Plethodontidae.shtml AmphibiaWeb - Plethodontidae]
* [http://tolweb.org/Plethodontidae/15441 Tree of Life: Plethodontidae]
* [http://www.caudata.org/cc/species/Plethodontidae.shtml Caudata Culture Species Database - Plethodontidae]


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