Integrative Taxonomy reveals three new Taxa within the Tylototriton Asperrimus complex (Caudata, Salamandridae) from Vietnam


The Tylototriton asperrimus complex from northern Vietnam is reviewed based on morphological comparisons and analysis of the mitochondrial marker NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 (ND2). Based on molecular divergences, which were revealed to be higher than in other congeners, in concert with morphological differences, two new species and one subspecies are described herein: Tylototriton pasmansi sp. nov. differs from T. asperrimus sensu stricto by 3.2 to 3.6 % genetic divergence and a combination of distinct morphological characters, such as head slightly longer than wide, distinct mid-dorsal ridge, relatively wide distance between the eyes, tips of fingers reaching the eye when foreleg is laid forward, labial and gular folds present, central belly skin with tubercles shaped like transverse wrinkles and distinct, pointy to round rib nodules. The population of T. pasmansi sp. nov. consists of two subclades, the nominotypic one occurring on the eastern side of the Da River (or Black River, including Hoa Binh and Phu Tho provinces), and another occurring on the western side (including Son La and Thanh Hoa provinces). These two subclades differ by 2.5 to 3.1 % genetic divergence and distinct morphological characters. The western subclade is herein described as Tylototriton pasmansi obsti ssp. nov., which differs from the nominotypic form by a wider head, longer and narrower snout, shorter femur length, and an overall less granulose skin, without an increased concentration of warts on the body sides.

A second new species, Tylototriton sparreboomi sp. nov. is described from Lai Chau Province. It differs from T. asperrimus sensu stricto by 4.1 to 4.25 % and from Tylototriton pasmansi sp. nov. by 3.65 to 4.5 % genetic divergences as well as by a combination of distinct morphological characters, such as head longer than wide, tips of fingers reaching nostril when foreleg adpressed along head, rib nodules distinct, round and relatively enlarged, and wide distance between the eyes.

Current distribution map of the genus Tylototriton, from South and Central China, to northern Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Bhutan and Nepal

Top: Tylototriton pasmansi sp. nov. (holotype); Center: Tylototriton pasmansi obsti ssp. nov. (holotype); Bottom: Tylototriton sparreboomi sp. nov. Photographs: C. T. Pham (upper row) and A. V. Pham (central and lower rows)

Source: Marta Bernardes, Minh Duc Le, Truong Quang Nguyen, Cuong The Pham, Anh Van Pham, Tao Thien Nguyen, Dennis Rödder, Michael Bonkowski, Thomas Ziegler (2020). Integrative taxonomy reveals three new taxa within the Tylototriton asperrimus complex (Caudata, Salamandridae) from Vietnam. ZooKeys, 935: 121–164.

Link to Vietnamese version


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