Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Type: Article
Published: 2019-01-29
Page range: 525–544
Abstract views: 334
PDF downloaded: 10

Two new species of lotic breeding salamanders (Amphibia, Caudata, Hynobiidae) from western Japan

Faculty of Education, University of the Ryukyus, Senbaru 1, Nishihara, Okinawa 903-0213, JAPAN
Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Yoshida-Nihonmatsu-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, JAPAN
Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Yoshida-Nihonmatsu-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, JAPAN
Amphibia Hynobius new species Hynobius naevius lotic breeder western Japan taxonomy


Two new species of lotic-breeding salamanders, Hynobius sematonotos and H. oyamai, are described from Chugoku district and northeastern Kyushu district, respectively, western Japan. They are members of the so-called H. naevius group and are phylogenetically close to H. naevius, H. katoi, and H. hirosei but divergent from them with large genetic distances. These new species have been treated as Chugoku and northeastern Kyushu lineages, respectively, of H. naevius to which they are morphologically very similar. However, these new species can be differentiated from H. naevius by several morphological traits. Hynobius sematonotos is characterized and discriminated from other species by combination of small body size, a shallow vomerine teeth series with small number of vomerine teeth, small number of upper and lower jaw teeth, relatively long head and snout, and large upper eyelid, relatively short axilla-groin, reddish purple ground color with grayish brown marking on the dorsum, and reddish to bluish gray ventral ground color with relatively large markings varying from pale-white to white. Hynobius oyamai is characterized and discriminated from other species by large body size, moderately deep vomerine teeth series with a medium number of vomerine teeth, large number of upper and lower jaw teeth, relatively wide internarial and long fifth toe, bluish purple ground color sometimes with pale white marking on dorsum. Hynobius sematonotos occurs in Honshu, disjunct from H. naevius and H. oyamai that occur allopatrically in Kyushu.



  1. Aoki, G., Matsui, M. & Nishikawa, K. (2013) Mitochondrial cytochrome b phylogeny and historical biogeography of the Tohoku salamander, Hynobius lichenatus (Amphibia, Caudata). Zoological Science, 30, 167–173.

    Dunn, E.R. (1923) The salamanders of the family Hynobiidae. Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 58, 445–523.

    Hall ,T.A. (1999) BioEdit: a user-friendly biological sequence alignment editor and analysis program for Windows 95/98/NT. Nucleic Acids Symposium Series, 41, 95–98.

    Iwasawa, H. & Yamashita, K. (1991) Normal stages of development of a hynobiid salamander, Hynobius nigrescens Stejneger. Japanese Journal of Herpetology, 14, 39–62.

    Lai, J.S. & Lue, K.Y. (2008) Two new Hynobius (Caudata: Hynobiidae) salamanders from Taiwan. Herpetologica, 64, 63–80.

    Matsui, M., Kokuryo, Y., Misawa, Y. & Nishikawa, K. (2004) A new species of salamander of the genus Hynobius from central Honshu, Japan (Amphibia, Urodela). Zoological Science, 21, 661–669.

    Matsui, M., Nishikawa, K., Utsunomiya, T. & Tanabe, S. (2006) Geographic allozyme variation in the Japanese clouded salamander, Hynobius nebulosus (Amphibia: Urodela). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 89, 311–330.

    Matsui, M., Nishikawa, K. & Tominaga, A. (2017) Taxonomic relationships of Hynobius stejnegeri and H. yatsui, with description of the amber-colored salamander from Kyushu, Japan (Amphibia: Caudata). Zoological Science, 34, 538–545.

    Moriyama, J., Takeuchi, H., Ogura-Katayama, A. & Hikida, T. (2018) Phylogeography of the Japanese ratsnake, Elaphe climacophora (Serpentes: Colubridae): impacts of Pleistocene climatic oscillations and sea-level fluctuations on geographical range. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 124 (2), 174–187.

    Nishikawa, K. & Matsui, M. (2014) Three new species of the salamander genus Hynobius (Amphibia, Urodela, Hynobiidae) from Kyushu, Japan. Zootaxa, 3852 (2), 203–226.

    Nishikawa, K., Matsui, M., Tanabe, S. & Sato, S. (2007) Morphological and allozymic variation in Hynobius boulengeri and H. stejnegeri (Amphibia: Urodela: Hynobiidae). Zoological Science, 24, 752–766.

    Okamiya, H., Sugawara, H., Nagano, M. & Poyarkov, N.A. (2018) An integrative taxonomic analysis reveals a new species of lotic Hynobius salamander from Japan. PeerJ, 6, e5084.

    Sato, I. (1934) On the species of Hynobius of the naevius group with special reference to the morphology of the skull. Botany and Zoology, 2, 1843–1852.

    Sato, I. (1943) A Monograph of the Tailed Batrachians of Japan. Nippon Shuppan-sha, Osaka, 520 pp.

    Sato, S., Kuramoto, M. & Ono, Y. (1994) Morphological variation in Hynobius naevius (Caudata: Hynobiidae) in Kyushu, Japan. Japanese Journal of Herpetology, 15, 119–125.

    Sparreboom, M. (2014) Salamanders of the Old World. KNNV Publishing, Zeist, 431 pp.

    Stamatakis, A. (2014) RAxML Version 8: a tool for phylogenetic analysis and post-analysis of large phylogenies. Bioinformatics, 30, 1312–1313.

    Sugawara, H., Watabe, T., Yoshikawa, T. & Nagano, M. (2018) Morphological and molecular analyses of Hynobius dunni reveal a new species from Shikoku, Japan. Herpetologica, 74, 159–168.

    Suzuki, D. & Hikida, T. (2011) Mitochondrial phylogeography of the Japanese pond turtle, Mauremys japonica (Testudines, Geoemydidae). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 49 (2), 141–147.

    Takeuchi, H., Ota, H., Oh, H. & Hikida, T. (2012) Extensive genetic divergence in the East Asian natricine snake, Rhabdophis tigrinus (Serpentes: Colubridae) with special reference to prominent geographical differentiation of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene in Japanese population. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 105 (2), 395–408.

    Tanabe, A.S. (2011) KAKUSAN4 and Aminosan: two programs for comparing nonpartitioned, proportional and separate models for combined molecular phylogenetic analyses of multilocus sequence data. Molecular Ecology Resources, 11, 914–921.

    Tavaré, S. (1986) Some probabilistic and statistical problems in the analysis of DNA sequences. Lectures on Mathematics in the Life Sciences, 17, 57–86.

    Tominaga, A. & Matsui, M. (2007) Estimation of the type locality of Hynobius naevius (Temminck and Schlegel, 1838), a salamander from Japan (Amphibia: Caudata). Zoological Science, 24, 940–944.

    Tominaga, A. & Matsui, M. (2008) Taxonomic status of a salamander species allied to Hynobius naevius and a reevaluation of Hynobius naevius yatsui Oyama, 1947 (Amphibia, Caudata). Zoological Science, 25, 107–114.

    Tominaga, A., Matsui, M., Nishikawa, K. & Sato, S. (2003) Occurrence of two types of Hynobius naevius in northern Kyushu, Japan (Amphibia: Urodela). Zoological Science, 20, 1467–1476.

    Tominaga, A., Matsui, M., Nishikawa, K., Tanabe, S. & Sato, S. (2005a) Genetic differentiations of Hynobius naevius (Amphibia: Hynobiidae) as revealed by allozyme analysis. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 33, 921–937.

    Tominaga, A., Matsui, M., Nishikawa, K., Tanabe, S. & Sato, S. (2005b) Morphological discrimination of two genetic groups of a Japanese salamander, Hynobius naevius (Amphibia, Caudata). Zoological Science, 22, 1229–1244.

    Tominaga, A., Matsui, M., Nishikawa, K. & Tanabe, S. (2006) Phylogenetic relationships of Hynobius naevius (Amphibia: Caudata) as revealed by mitochondrial 12S and 16S rRNA genes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 38, 677–684.

    Yonekura, N., Kaizuka, S., Nogami, M. & Chinzei, K. (2001) Regional Geomorphology of the Japanese Islands. Instruction to Japanese Geomorphology. Vol. 1. University of Tokyo Press, Tokyo, 349 pp.

    Yoshikawa, N., Matsui, M., Tanabe, S. & Okayama, T. (2013) Description of a new salamander of the genus Onychodactylus from Shikoku and Western Honshu, Japan (Amphibia, Caudata, Hynobiidae). Zootaxa, 3693 (4), 441–464.

    Yoshikawa, N. & Matsui, M. (2014) Two new salamanders of the genus Onychodactylus from Eastern Honshu, Japan (Amphibia, Caudata, Hynobiidae). Zootaxa, 3866 (1), 53–78.