An uncommon habitat for a common salamander: Isthmura bellii in arid tropical scrub

in Amphibia-Reptilia
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Abstract

Salamanders are usually seen as typical inhabitants of temperate and humid habitats. Among Plethodontids, Isthmura bellii has the broadest altitudinal range of any salamander in the world and it is considered a habitat generalist. Nonetheless, even for this species, dry environments are thought unsuitable. We report the first records of I. bellii in arid tropical scrub from two localities within central Mexico. We analyze the environmental differentiation of these new localities in relation to the known distribution range of the genus. Our study shows that among the new localities, there is at least one site where I. bellii appears to have established in arid tropical scrub. An environmental model reveals that these new localities present different conditions than most of the records of Isthmura spp.

An uncommon habitat for a common salamander: Isthmura bellii in arid tropical scrub

in Amphibia-Reptilia

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References

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Figures

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    Known distribution of Isthmura spp. in Mexico. Points represent presence records for the genus obtained from the GBIF database. The stars show the new localities reported in this study from arid tropical scrub in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. The polygons and squares correspond to the known distribution proposed by Parra-Olea et al. (2005). For the distribution of I. bellii the dashed polygon corresponds to the proposed distribution by Parra-Olea et al. (2005), while the gray polygon underneath represents the proposal by Parra-Olea et al. (2016).

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    Isthmura bellii found at “Cubitos” Ecological Park showing the typical dorsal coloration pattern of the species.

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    Isthmura bellii from the temperate forest of Singuilucan, Hidalgo, approximately 30 km to the east of the Metropolitan Area of Pachuca. Note the typical coloration of I. bellii.

  • View in gallery

    Environmental model of Isthmura spp. showing the climatic differentiation of the records obtained at the arid tropical scrub in Hidalgo and records from other localities. The “x” axis is associated with temperature variables and the “y” is associated with precipitation variables.

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