Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae

Scientific Name: Bolitoglossa salvinii
Species Authority: (Gray, 1868)
Common Name(s):
English Salvin's Mushroomtongue Salamander
Oedipus salvinii Gray, 1868
Spelerpes attitlanensis Brocchi, 1883
Spelerpes salvinii (Gray, 1868)
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2013. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.6 (9 January 2013). Electronic Database. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-01-06
Assessor(s): Manuel Acevedo, David Wake, Gunther Köhler and Carlos Vasquez
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Endangered because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat in Guatemala and El Salvador.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Endangered (EN)
2004 Endangered (EN)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in the upper coastal plain at moderate elevations (600-1,250m asl) on the Pacific slopes of southern Guatemala and from one locality in El Salvador (at the Instituto Tropical de Investigaciones Científicas in San Salvador).
Countries occurrence:
El Salvador; Guatemala
Lower elevation limit (metres): 600
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1250
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It used to be reasonably common in suitable habitat, but is now uncommon.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Originally an inhabitant of forest environs, these habitats have largely disappeared within its range, and it is now found mainly in shaded coffee plantations (under bananas) and in sugar-cane fields. In El Salvador, it is reported from dry forest at around 700m asl (Köhler et al., 2006). In Guatemala, it has been recorded in lowland wet forests (<1600m asl) (Wake and Lynch, 1976). It breeds by direct development.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat in the past has been habitat loss, due mainly to subsistence agricultural activities and wood extraction. The clearance of shaded habitats to open, drier landscapes will be severely detrimental to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is not currently known from any protected areas in Guatemala, although protected areas are proposed within the species range. It might occur in Parque Nacional El Imposible in El Salvador (though this is not confirmed). The maintenance of shaded habitats is important to ensure the long-term persistence of this species.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest
suitability: Suitable  
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
2. Land/water management -> 2.3. Habitat & natural process restoration

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Campbell, J.A. 2001. Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Guatemala. University of Texas, Arlington, Web published:

García-París, M., Parra-Olea, G. and Wake, D.B. 2000. Phylogenetic relationships within the lowland tropical salamanders of the Bolitoglossa mexicana complex (Amphibia: Plethodontidae). In: Bruce, R.C., Jaeger, R.G. and Houck, L.D. (eds), The Biology of Plethodontid Salamanders, pp. 199-214. Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers, New York.

Greenbaum, E. and Komar, O. 2005. Threat assessment and conservation prioritization of the herpetofauna of El Salvador. Biodiversity and Conservation 14(10): 2377-2395.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.2). Available at: (Accessed: 29 June 2010).

Köhler, G., Veselý, M. and Greenbaum, E. 2006. The Amphibians and Reptiles of El Salvador. Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, Florida.

Wake, D.B. 1987. Adaptive radiation of salamanders in Middle American cloud forests. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 74: 242-264.

Wake, D.B. and Lynch, J.F. 1976. The distribution, ecology, and evolutionary history of plethodontid salamanders in tropical America. Science Bulletin of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County: 1-65.

Citation: Manuel Acevedo, David Wake, Gunther Köhler and Carlos Vasquez. 2010. Bolitoglossa salvinii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T59203A11895292. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided