Thorius pennatulus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae

Scientific Name: Thorius pennatulus Cope, 1869
Common Name(s):
English Veracruz Pigmy Salamander
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2014. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6 (27 January 2014). New York, USA. Available at: (Accessed: 27 January 2014).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A2ac+4ac ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Gabriela Parra-Olea, David Wake, Jean Raffaelli, James Hanken
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Critically Endangered because of drastic population declines in excess of 80% that have been observed, are not understood, and may continue.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known only from central western Veracruz, Mexico; from near the town of Progreso in the south to Teocel in the north, generally 1,000-1,200m asl (although it is known from as high as 2,000m asl).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):1000
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Once very common, the species appears to have undergone a massive decline by the mid 1970s (it was perhaps the first Thorius to undergo large, inexplicable declines). There was one individual recorded in the late 1990s, one again in 2004, and another in 2006.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Thorius pennatulus inhabits cloud forest and forest at lower altitudes. It requires moist situations such as crevices, and has been found under rocks, in leaf-litter and in and under rotting logs. The species also occurs in shade coffee plantations where humidity is maintained. It is a terrestrial species that reproduces by direct development.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The reasons for the dramatic decline in this species remains a mystery. This species is probably being negatively impacted by agricultural expansion, shifting agricultural practices, human settlements, all of which are taking place extensively within its range. However, these threats do not explain the level of decline that has been observed, because the habitat is still in quite good condition in some places.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It has not been found in any protected areas, and habitat protection and maintenance is urgently required; suitable closed habitat could be maintained through, for example, the use of more biodiversity-friendly agricultural practices, such as shade-grown coffee. Research is also needed to establish the reasons for the population decline. This species is protected by Mexican law under the "Special Protection" category (Pr).

Citation: Gabriela Parra-Olea, David Wake, Jean Raffaelli, James Hanken. 2008. Thorius pennatulus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T59424A11938766. . Downloaded on 20 June 2018.
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