Current Herpetology Vol. 22, No. 1, June, 2003


Occurrence of a Lotic Breeding Hynobius Salamander (Amphibia, Urodela) on Kamishima of the Amakusa Islands, Japan
Kanto Nishikawa, Masafumi Matsui, Shingo Tanabe, and Mariko Sakamoto
22(1): 1-8
Key words: Hynobiidae; Hynobius; the Amakusa Islands; Lotic breeding; Biogeography

Abstract: We found a salamander of the genus Hynobius on Kamishima of the Amakusa Islands, Japan, which is new to this island group. From the characteristics of larval habitat and morphology, this salamander is considered to be a lotic breeder. Until the discovery of this species, only a lentic breeding species (Hynobius nebulosus) was known from the Amakusa Islands. Morphologically the present salamander is well differentiated from other lotic breeding Hynobius of nearby regions and is closest to the southernmost population of H. boulengeri from the Osumi Peninsula among the species or populations examined. In order to determine its taxonomic position, however, genetic analyses using a larger number of comparative specimens are needed. The biogeographic significance of the present finding is briefly discussed.
A Fossorial Lizard with Forelimbs Only: Description of a New Genus and Species of Malagasy Skink (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae)
Shuichi Sakata and Tsutomu Hikida
22(1): 9-16
Key wards: New genus; New species; Scincidae; Madagascar; Fossorial; Limb reduction

Abstract: A new genus and species of fossorial scincine lizard is described from northeastern Madagascar. This species, having an elongated body and eyes covered by scales, lacking external ear openings and pigmentation throughout the body, resembles Cryptoscincus and Voeltzkowia. However it differs from these or any other scincid genera known to the present in having small but distinct forelimbs, each with four stout claws, and complete lack of hind limbs.
Revalidation of Rana laterimaculata Barbour et Noble, 1916 from the Synonymy of Rana baramica Boettger, 1901
Tzi Ming Leong, Masafumi Matsui, Hoi Sen Yong, and Abang Abdul Hamid
22(1): 17-28
Key words: Sunda; Rana baramica; Rana laterimaculata; Synonymy; Revalidation; Acoustics

Abstract: Rana laterimaculata Barbour et Noble, 1916 had been previously regarded as a junior synonym of R. baramica Boettger, 1901 by Inger (1966). An examination of literature, photographs, and live and preserved specimens revealed that visible and audible differences were apparent between two ‘forms’ of R. baramica’, which may even be sympatric in some localities. The acoustic characters of the two ‘forms’ are analysed and compared. Rana laterimaculata is here recognized as a valid species and a neotype is assigned in place of the missing holotype. The species is redescribed and diagnostic differences separating it from R. baramica are explained. The present known distribution of both species is provided. Both species are confined to the Sunda region.
A New Water Skink of the Genus Tropidophorus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) from Sulawesi, Indonesia
Tsutomu Hikida, Awal Riyanto, and Hidetoshi Ota
22(1): 29-36
Keywords: Tropidophorus grayi; New species; Scincidae; Sulawesi; Indonesia

Abstract: The population of the lygosomine genus Tropidophorus on Sulawesi, Indonesia, is usually referred to as T. grayi Gunther, 1861, a species originally described from the Philippines, or sometimes by a taxonomically unjustified epithet “apulus”. We therefore reexamined the taxonomic status of the Sulawesi Tropidophorus on the basis of newly obtained specimens and available museum materials. Results indicated that this island population is morphologically distinct from T. grayi, and we thus describe it as a new species. This species most resembles T. grayi by sharing a number of characteristics, such as a divided frontonasal, three preanals, and strongly keeled tail scales. However, it differs from the latter by having weaker keels on dorsal body scales, a relatively longer fourth toe with more subdigitals, and male postanal pores in a single row.
Red Variants of the Japanese Newt Cynops pyrrhogaster (Amphibia: Salamandridae): Review of Records and Captive Observations on the Heredity of Coloration
Kumi Matsui, Junsuke Marunouchi,2 and Masahisa Nakamura
22(1): 37-42
Key words: Red variant, Cynops pyrrhogaster, Heredity, Japan, Recessive

Abstract: We surveyed information regarding the locality and detailed dorsal color pattern of red variants of the Japanese newt, Cynops pyrrhogaster. Results indicated that more individuals characterized by red dorsal ground color have been found in the western half of Japan and that such variants can be classified into three types. The heredity of coloration in one of these variant types, that having numerous small black spots on dorsum, was examined in a series of hybridization experiments in captivity. The results strongly suggested that coloration of this variant type is inherited and recessive.
Rainwater Drinking by Free-ranging Japanese Pitvipers Gloydius blomhoffii
Kiyoshi Sasaki and David Duvall
22(1): 43-44
Keywords: Drinking rain drops; Gloydius blomhoffii; gravid females; free-ranging; pitviper

Abstract: Three free-ranging gravid Gloydius blomhoffii were observed drinking drops of water from their skin or from leaves during a brief summer rain shower in Hokkaido, Japan. These behaviors may be common and important for gravid females, because they are sedentary and bask in areas with no nearby water otherwise.
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