|Male U. brucei.|
This species is evolutionarily most closely related to the Eurycea and appears to be relatively scarce. Its known range is small, having been identified in only a few counties in the U.S. There is sexual dimorphism in coloration and pattern but not in size. Adult males have a yellow dorsum with two darker color dorsolateral stripes, proportionately large nasal cirri, and a round mental gland. Adult females have a more muted coloration and either lack or have vestigial nasal cirri. Adults have a characteristic yellowish patch on their snout. With an average length of only 25-26mm (~1 inch) an adult Urspelerpes could coil comfortably on a quarter. While other miniaturized salamanders often have four toes, Urspelerpes has five.
Camp, C. D. et al (2009). "A new genus and species of lungless salamander (family Plethodontidae) from the Appalachian highlands of the south-eastern United States". Journal of Zoology 279: 1-9.
©Caudata Culture. Written by Janice Williams, May 2012.