The enigmatic history of the European, Asian and American plethodontid salamanders

in Amphibia-Reptilia
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Recently published research addressing the question of relationships and biogeography of European plethodontid salamanders has refined time estimates for divergence from American relatives. The recently discovered Korean plethodontid Karsenia is either the sister-taxon of Hydromantes (which has members in Europe and California), or a close relative and co-member of a larger clade that originated in western North America, not eastern North America as formerly thought. The new information strengthens the biogeographical hypothesis that Hydromantes entered Eurasia via the Bering Land Bridge. Arguments are made favoring the placement of European and American relatives in a genus Hydromantes, with an American clade (subgenus Hydromantes) and a European clade (subgenera Atylodes and Speleomantes).

The enigmatic history of the European, Asian and American plethodontid salamanders

in Amphibia-Reptilia



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    Adult cave salamander from California (Hydromantes platycephalus). Photo by Sean Rovito. This figure is published in colour in the online version.

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