Cynops Tschudi, 1839There is overall morphological similarity among species of the genus Cynops. All are smaller-bodied than either Paramesotriton or Pachytriton. They have a vertebral ridge, and almost all individuals lack lateral ridges. The tail is laterally compressed, and except for C. wolterstorffi, the skin is granular. Some individuals have parietal ridges, although these are generally not as prominent as those of Paramesotriton (Chan et al., 2001). In the genus Cynops eight species are currently recognized (C. pyrrhogaster and C. ensicauda in Japan, C. orientalis, C. cyanurus, C. chenggongensis, C. wolterstorffi, C. orphicus and C. fudingensis in China). Cynops wolterstorffi was long placed in a separate genus Hypselotriton on the basis of studies in skull morphology (Herre, 1939; Pope & Boring, 1940; Thorn, 1969). Examination in a cladistic framework, based on molecular and morphological characters, has suggested that Cynops might be paraphyletic, with C. pyrrhogaster possibly more closely related to Paramesotriton than to C. cyanurus (Chan et al., 2001), but recent work confirmed monophyly of Cynops (Wu et al., 2010).
Chan, L.M., Zamudio, K.R. & Wake, D.B., (2001). ‘Relationships of the Salamandrid Genera Paramesotriton, Pachytriton, and Cynops Based on Mitochondrial DNA Sequences.’ Copeia, 2001: 997-1009.
Herre, W., (1939). ‘Studien an asiatischen und nordamerikanischen Salamandriden.’ Abh. Ber. Mus. Naturk. Vorgesch. Magdeburg, 7: 79-97.
Pope, C.H. & Boring, A.M., (1940). ‘A Survey of Chinese Amphibia.’ Peking nat. Hist. Bull., 15: 13-86.
Thorn, R. (1969). Les salamandres d’Europe, d’Asie et d’Afrique du Nord. Lechevalier, Paris.
Wu, Y., Wang, Y., Jiang, K. & Hanken J., (2010). ‘A New Newt of the Genus Cynops (Caudata: Salamandridae) from Fujian Province, southeastern China.’ Zootaxa, 2346: 42-52.
Friday, April 6, 2012