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Systematic Studies of the Costa Rican Moss Salamanders, Genus Nototriton, with Descriptions of Three New Species

David A. Good and David B. Wake
Herpetological Monographs
Vol. 7 (1993), pp. 131-159
Published by: Herpetologists' League
DOI: 10.2307/1466956
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1466956
Page Count: 29
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Systematic Studies of the Costa Rican Moss Salamanders, Genus Nototriton, with Descriptions of Three New Species
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Abstract

Study of allozyme variation, external morphology, and osteology reveals that there are more species of moss salamanders (genus Nototriton) in Costa Rica than the two currently recognized. The three species for which names are available are valid, and new diagnoses are presented for them; three additional species are described. The phylogenetic relationships and biogeography of the six species are investigated. The radiation of Nototriton in present-day Costa Rica has involved miniaturization accompanied by both morphological and ecological specialization. Costa Rican species inhabit moss-mats and leaf-litter; most of the remaining species in the genus are bromeliad-dwellers. The revised genus Nototriton includes two Mexican, one Guatemalan (another, detected in the present study, remains undescribed), two Honduran, and six Costa Rican species. The six Costa Rican species appear to form a monophyletic group, but the phylogenetic relationships of the two northern species groups to each other and to the southern group remain uncertain.

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