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Type: Article
Published: 2016-09-21
Page range: 475–503
Abstract views: 109
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A new species of salamander of the genus Hynobius (Amphibia, Caudata, Hynobiidae) from South Korea

Conservation Genome Resources Bank for Korean Wildlife (CGRB) and Research Institute for Veterinary Science College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, South Korea
Conservation Genome Resources Bank for Korean Wildlife (CGRB) and Research Institute for Veterinary Science College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, South Korea
National Park Research Institute, Korea National Park Service, Wonju 26441, South Korea
National Park Research Institute, Korea National Park Service, Wonju 26441, South Korea National Institute of Ecology, Seocheon, 33657, South Korea
Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Biological Faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskiye Gory, GSP–1, Moscow 119991, Russia
Amphibia Hynobius unisacculus sp. nov. H. leechii H. quelpaertensis H. yangi egg sacs lentic-breeding species mtDNA morphology


We describe a new species of lentic-breeding Hynobius salamander from the Naro Islands, near the village of Bongrae-myeon, Goheung-gun, Jeollanam-do, South Korea, on the basis of results of morphological, ecological and genetic analyses. Hynobius unisacculus sp. nov. is distinguished from its congeners by a combination of the following morphological attributes: (1) comparatively small size (adult SVL up to 61 mm; range 38.3–60.3 mm in males and 37.5–59.9 mm in females); (2) relatively slender short limbs; tips of fore- and hindlimbs adpressed on body never meeting, but separated by a large gap (gap of -3.0 to -1.5 costal folds in males and -3.5 to -1.5 in females); (3) comparatively short tail (TL/SVL ratio in adult males varying from 0.54–0.98, in adult females from 0.55 to 0.89), tail flattened and with a low dorsal fin extending to the posterior one-third of tail length; (4) usually 11 (occasionally 12) costal grooves; (5) in adults, dark brown dorsum with indistinct bronze or dark copper spots, lighter greyish-white or pinkish belly; (6) well developed fifth toe; (7) comparatively shallow vomerine tooth series with 13–23 vomerine teeth; (8) small, pigmented ova, located in one, occasionally two, strings in a small, curved egg sac with folded envelope, lacking distinct mucous stalks or whiptail-like structures on both ends. The molecular differentiation among Korean Hynobius is high; Hynobius unisacculus sp. nov. is genetically highly divergent from the morphologically similar H. leechii, H. yangi and H. quelpaertensis: pairwise distances are 9.7%, 9.1% and 8.0% of sequence divergence at the COI mtDNA gene respectively, and 10.9%, 10.9% and 9.4% of sequence divergence at the cyt b mtDNA gene, respectively. At present, the new species is known from coastal areas and offshore islands in southeastern part of Jeollanam-do in South Korea. We suggest the species should be considered as Vulnerable (Vu2a) in accordance with IUCN’s Red List categories. Our study supports the presence of undiagnosed taxonomic diversity among Korean Hynobius.



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