Red salamander found in Panamanian forest is a new species

The new-to-science Chiriquí fire salamander was found by a Panamanian team that has been investigating one of the least-explored regions of Central America


16 May 2022

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The Chiriqui fire salamander

MARCOS PONCE/© Magnolia Press

This brightly coloured amphibian has just been named the Chiriquí fire salamander (Bolitoglossa cathyledecae), a new-to-science species.

It was found during an expedition to La Amistad International Park in Panama by a Panamanian team that has been investigating the Cordillera de Talamanca. This mountain range runs between the western part of the country and Costa Rica, and is one of the least-explored regions of Central America. Abel Batista at Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí in Panama and his colleagues determined that it is new to science.

While it can be difficult to tell some new species apart from their close relatives, this salamander differs from other members of its genus in its colours, the webbing of its hands and feet, and in its high number of upper teeth. Genetic analysis confirmed that the animal is distinct from other known salamanders.

Journal reference: Zootaxa, DOI: 10.11646/ZOOTAXA.5129.4.4

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