New Salamander Species Discovered in Arkansas

April 21, 2014

University of Tulsa doctoral student Michael Steffen and Kelly Irwin, an Arkansas Game and Fish commission herpetologist were studying the genetic diversity of salamanders in 2011 when they discovered what later turned out to be a new species of salamander in the state's Lake Catherine State Park. What is unique about this particular species, the streambed salamander (Eurycea subfluvicola), is the fact that it does not lose its gills but rather "retains aquatic larval juvenile characteristics into adulthood unlike most other salamanders that lose their gills and metamorphose before adulthood."


streambed salamander

Photo courtesy University of Tulsa

Dorsal and ventral images of the female holotype of Eurycea subfluvicola.


Steffen further analysis of the single specimen with graduate student Andrea Blair and University of Tulsa Associate Professor of Biological Science Ron Bonnett determined that the salamander was genetically, morphologically and developmentally different from other known species of salamanders. They claim that the amphibian is the most genetically distinct paedomorphic salamander identified and described within the last 70 years. It currently has the smallest known range of any amphibian in the United States.


Want to Learn More?

California's Super Hybrid Salamander Dilemma

Tiger Salamander Care Sheet

Appalachian Salamanders Shrinking Due to Climate Change


Their findings are published in the latest Zootaxa journal

Related Articles

Former Wild Recon Host Donald Schultz Accused Of Illegally Selling Endangered Lizards

Ex Animal Planet host charged with selling Iranian desert monitors to undercover USFWS agents

California's Super Hybrid Salamander Dilemma

The native California tiger salamander is being pushed out by a hybrid salamander.

Zoo Atlanta's Komodo Dragon, Slasher Dies At 20

Reptile was euthanized due to age-related complications.

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit Module

Cast Your Vote

What is the ideal first snake?


Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleEdit Module

Find Us On facebook

Edit Module