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Onychodactylus taxonomy

This is a discussion on Onychodactylus taxonomy within the Hynobiid Salamanders (Hynobiidae) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; does anyone know how closely related this genus is to others in the hynobiidae family? surely the presence of claws ...

Hynobiid Salamanders (Hynobiidae) This group of Far Eastern salamanders are becoming increasingly popular in captivity, and thanks to the captive breeding efforts of one European hobbyist in particular (you know who I mean), they are becoming easier and easier to acquire.

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Old 1st November 2005   #1 (permalink)
william
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does anyone know how closely related this genus is to others in the hynobiidae family? surely the presence of claws and the lack of lungs would mean that it would be placed in it's own subfamily like protohynobius? just a query.



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Old 1st November 2005   #2 (permalink)
john
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Claws on a caudate? Anyone got any pictures of that?



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Old 5th November 2005   #3 (permalink)
henk
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Well I think Willima referes to cornified toes which streamtype salamnanders do have and which help them crawl up on the slippery stones against the stream. In some streamtype hynobidae these are already present in some adults. In a species like Pachyhynobius they are quite prominent, but there are many other examples there.



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Old 5th November 2005   #4 (permalink)
william
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here are some pictures of the "claws"
http://www.rieo.net/amph/saramand/sansyouo/onych.htm



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Old 21st November 2005   #5 (permalink)
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Hi William,

Japanese batrachologists (why do people shun this nice word?!) may have a different view on things, but the 1988 publication Studies on Chinese Salamanders (Ermi Zhao, Yaoming Jiang, Qixiong Hu, Yuhua Yang) offers this phylogeny of the seven genera of Hynobiidae based on morphological character analysis and comparisons:

Click the image to open in full size.

...as opposed to these earlier ones:

Click the image to open in full size.

So you can see from this that Onychodactylus it is considered more derivative than some other genera.

Onychodactylus is indeed the only member of Hynobiidae that lacks lungs, but Liua and Batrachuperus also have cornified coverings (on their palms, soles, fingers and toes). Still, only Onychodacuylus has what is described in the report as "sharp claw-like coverings"

This report has a very nicely detailed comparison of the hynobiid genera, aside from what's mentioned above.



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Old 22nd November 2005   #6 (permalink)
william
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thanks for that Tim



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