Hypselotriton glaucus, new Guandong firebelly

FrogEyes

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Zhiyong YUAN, Ke JIANG, Limin DING, Liang ZHANG and Jing CHE, 2013. A New Newt of the Genus Cynops (Caudata: Salamandridae) from Guangdong, China. Asian Herpetological Research 4(2): 116-123.

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Abstract [FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman][FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]We describe a new species of the genus [/FONT][/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman][FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]Cynops [/FONT][/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman][FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]from northeastern Guangdong, China. This new species is distinguished from its congeners by a combination of morphological and molecular characters. In morphology, it is chra-cterized by distinctive irregular bluish grey spots on the dorsum from head to tail; irregular, bright orange blotches on venter, chin, underside of axillae, limbs, cloaca; one bright orange stripe in the middle of venter; and ventral tail orange red. Analyses of mitochondrial DNA data indicate that this new species forms one highly diverged lineage within the Chinese group of [/FONT][/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman][FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman]Cynops[/FONT][/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman][FONT=Times New Roman,Times New Roman].[/FONT][/FONT]
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Diagnosis​
: A small-sized (TTL less than 100 mm) species
assigned to the genus
Cynops based on the absence of

a bony or warty ridge on head; skin finely granulated;
vertebral ridge present; and molecular phylogenetic
evidence. The species differs from congeners by the
following combination of characters: 1) postocular
orange spot absent; 2) parotoid gland poorly developed;
3) vertebral ridge inconspicuous; 4) irregular bluish grey
spots on dorsal sides of head, body, limbs and tail; 5)
an irregular, bright orange stripe in the middle of venter
through the neck to the front of the legs; 6) bright orange
blotches on the chin, the venter and around cloaca; 7)
bright orange blotches on underside of axillae and the​
four limbs; and 8) irregular black spots on tail.

This brings the firebellies to:
Hypselotriton (Cynotriton) fudingensis
Hypselotriton (Cynotriton) orientalis orientalis
Hypselotriton (Cynotriton) orientalis qianshan
Hypselotriton (Cynotriton) orphicus
Hypselotriton (Hypselotriton) chenggongensis
Hypselotriton (Hypselotriton) cyanurus
Hypselotriton (Hypselotriton) wolterstorffi
Hypselotriton (Hypselotriton) yunnanensis
Hypselotriton (new subgenus required) glaucus
Cynops ensicauda ensicauda
Cynops ensicauda popei
Cynops pyrrhogaster
Cynops - several potentially valid species including C.shataukokensis, C.immaculiventris, and C.sasayamae.
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Azhael

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If the two groups of small-bodied, chinese newts are already classified as two distinct subgenera and since it seems to be very well supported that the two are monophyletic, wouldn't it be more apropriate to use the subgeneric name Cynotriton as the generic name for the "orphicus group"??
It was my understanding that the Hypselotriton solution was being used as a temporary meassure because there was no proposed name for the orphicus clade, but this clearly shows that the name does exist, so why not use it?
 

FrogEyes

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The Chinese species form three groups [glaucus is basal to the other two] which are established as related to one another. The Japanese species are fairly easily identified relative to all Chinese species, and are not certainly related to them, Separating them into two genera makes sense because they are easily separated and because it prevents the problem of lumping two groups which might not be related.

While further separating the Chinese species might be appropriate on a number of grounds, 1) it's not necessary because they're demonstrably monophyletic, 2) diagnosis is not quite as easy, and 3) H.glaucus lacks a unique genus level name. On the last point, separating one monophyletic Hypselotriton into two genera would force H.glaucus into one or the other, forcing the unacceptable situation of creating a polyphyletic genus. It is more acceptable to recognize that glaucus is part of a monophyletic genus and also part of an unnamed clade within it. This is especially so because genus names MUST be used in scientific names, but subgenus names rarely are.
 

Azhael

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Argh..i'm sorry, i completely ignored H.glaucus even though it was staring me in the face...¬¬
Thank you for the explanation, it was very helpful. I have one question about 2). Are you talking about identifying which species belong to each subgenera within Hypselotriton? I would have thought that the difficulty comes in identifying the species within each subgenus, which does indeed seem to be very complicated. Identifying which subgenus they belong to seems to be quite straight forward.
 

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The subgenera are more easily identified than the species within them, but the traits are not always clear-cut. H.orphicus was at one time considered to be so distinct as to form a third [at the time] genus/subgenus. Since that time, it has been solidly grouped with H.orientalis and H.fudingensis (with one population actually transferred from "orientalis" to orphicus). This suggests to me that the subgenera/groups are perhaps not as distinct as previously conceived.

The situation is similar in Tylototriton: it's been suggested that Yaotriton be raised to genus [including by myself]. While genetically distinct though, there no longer seem to be any non-genetic differences between subgenus Yaotriton and subgenus Tylototriton. This makes genus recognition of Liangshantriton problematic because the latter is closer to T.(T.) than T.(Y.) is. Qiantriton, while basal within the remainder of T.(T.), seems essentially pointless. Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if someone decides to raise Yaotriton to genus and divide it into three or four subgenera. Lots of names with little meaning except to identify genetic clades.
 
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