September 2007 Archives

The journal Copeia's September 2007 issue is reporting the discovery of 2 new plethodontid salamanders, Gomez’s Web-footed Salamander, Bolitoglossa gomezi and Brame’s Web-footed Salamander, Bolitoglossa bramei. Both species were collected in a extremely salamander rich area on the border of Costa Rica and Columbia. Gomez's Web-footed Salamander Image courtesy of Copeia

hybrid salamanders

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Two researchers, Benjamin M. Fitzpatrick and H. Bradley Shaffer, have reported in the September 20, 2007 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences(PNAS) on the discovery of inbreeding between California Tiger Salamanders and Barred Tiger Salamanders and the resulting hybrid which outcompetes the native California Tiger Salamander. The article "Hybrid vigor between native and introduced salamanders raises new challenges for conservation" looked at the composition of species surviving in California ponds and found that the hybrid species were more numerous than either of the other two species. The implications of the findings of this study present could be enormous. The California Tiger Salamander is endangered and been the focus of numerous lawsuits and government actions.
Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation