Chiropterotriton mosaueri 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae

Scientific Name: Chiropterotriton mosaueri (Woodall, 1941)
Common Name(s):
English Cave Splayfoot Salmander
Oedipus mosaueri Woodall, 1941
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2015. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. New York, USA. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2014-09-10
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J.
Contributor(s): Wake, D., Parra-Olea, G., García París, M. & Rovito, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Garcia Moreno, J. & Hobin, L.
Listed as Critically Endangered because its extent of occurrence is 40 km2, it is currently only known from one threat-defined location, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat and in the number of mature individuals. The population is known to be much, much smaller than some decades ago. Because of poor management of the area where it occurs, it is unclear whether this location will remain suitable in the near future.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species was previously known only from a cave near Durango town, in northern Hidalgo, Mexico, at 2,160 m asl. However, recently it has been found in another location nearby; both within the Parque Nacional Los Mármoles. There is no a priori reason to assume that the species is endemic from Hidalgo and more cave exploration is needed to determine its range. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) and area of occupancy (AOO) is 40 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Mexico (Hidalgo)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:40.46
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):2160
Upper elevation limit (metres):2160
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population trend is unknown as this species had not been seen for 73 years. However, in 2010, this species was recorded again from a cave near the type locality. It is no longer found at the type locality, which has become uninhabitable due to pollution and dessication.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is a crevice-dweller that apparently requires humid caverns in pine-oak forest in order to survive. It is a terrestrial species that breeds by direct development.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are no records of this species being utilized

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The forest habitat surrounding the caves is under severe pressure from expanding agriculture, slash and burn agricultural methods and wood extraction. Like Chiropterotriton magnipes, this species seems to have disappeared from its type locality due to the drying of its caves following the removal of forest and from pollution - the cave is currently filled with trash.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
It is found in a cave and it could occur at other caves in Parque Nacional Los Mármoles. It is protected by Mexican law under the "Special Protection" category (Pr).

Conservation Needed
Improved management of the park is required, with special attention to the caves where this and other salamanders could occur. Ideally some caves should be put off limits given their fragility. 

Research Needed
Research is needed on its natural history, population size and distribution. A species recovery plan needs to be developed and implemented preferably together with the park's authorities, and a monitoring program is recommended to follow population trends.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
7. Caves and Subterranean Habitats (non-aquatic) -> 7.1. Caves and Subterranean Habitats (non-aquatic) - Caves
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
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

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.3. Trend 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
2. Conservation Planning -> 2.1. Species Action/Recovery Plan
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Darda, D. 1994. Allozyme variation and morphological evolution among Mexican salamanders of the genus Chiropterotriton. Herpetologica 50: 164-187.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-1. Available at: (Accessed: 30 June 2016).

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2016. Chiropterotriton mosaueri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T59228A53978546. . Downloaded on 16 October 2018.
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