Pseudoeurycea cephalica 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae

Scientific Name: Pseudoeurycea cephalica
Species Authority: (Cope, 1865)
Common Name(s):
English Chunky False Brook Salamander
Geotriton cephalicus (Cope, 1865)
Magnadigita sulcata (Brocchi, 1883)
Oedipus manni Taylor, 1939
Oedipus cephalicus (Cope, 1865)
Oedipus sulcatus (Brocchi, 1883)
Pseudoeurycea sulcata (Brocchi, 1883)
Spelerpes cephalicus Cope, 1865
Spelerpes sulcatum Brocchi, 1883
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:
Taxonomic Notes: This form is a complex of more than one species that needs taxonomic revision (G. Parra-Olea and D.B. Wake pers. comm.). The subspecies Pseudoeurycea cephalica rubrimembris is likely to be a valid species (Raffaelli pers. comm.).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-11-11
Assessor(s): Gabriela Parra-Olea, David Wake, Jean Raffaelli
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Near Threatened because this species is probably in significant decline (but probably at a rate of less than 30% over ten years) because of widespread habitat loss through much of its range, thus making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Near Threatened (NT)
2004 Near Threatened (NT)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species can be found in central Mexico in the states of Estado de Mexico, Hidalgo, Veracruz, Puebla and Morelos. It might be more widespread than current records suggest. Its altitudinal range is between 1,100 and 3,000m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1100
Upper elevation limit (metres): 3000
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species used to be common, although it has undergone declines. The subspecies Pseudoeurycea cephalica rubrimembris remains not uncommon in the outskirts of Tianguistengo village in north-eastern Hidalgo State.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species lives in pine, pine-oak, fir, and cloud forests, and in the upper extent of lowland forest. It is commonly found beneath rocks, logs and other debris on the ground. It also occurs in somewhat disturbed habitats, such as forest edges, rural gardens, and small patches of forest in urban areas. Breeding is by direct development.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is probably threatened by agricultural expansion, expanding human settlements, and logging, all of which are taking place extensively within its range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in several protected areas, and is listed as "threatened" (Amenazada) by the Mexican government.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas
suitability: Marginal  
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
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 -> 2.1.2. 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 -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Gillingwater, S. and Patrikeev, M. 2004. Herpetological records from Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra Gorda (Querétaro, Mexico). Institute for the Conservation of World Biodiversity.

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

Parra-Olea, G., García-París, M. and Wake, D.B. 1999. Status of some populations of Mexican salamanders. Revista de Biologia Tropical: 217-223.

Parra-Olea, G., Papenfuss, T.J. and Wake, D.B. 2001. New species of lungless salamanders of the genus Pseudoeurycea (Amphibia: Caudata: Plethodontidae) from Veracruz, Mexico. Scientific papers of the Natural History Museum of the University of Kansas: 1-9.

Uribe-Peña, Z., Ramírez-Bautista, R. and Cuadernos, G.C.A. 2000. Anfibios y Reptiles de las Serranías del Distrito Federal, México. Instituto de Biología, UNAM, Mexico City, Mexico.

Citation: Gabriela Parra-Olea, David Wake, Jean Raffaelli. 2010. Pseudoeurycea cephalica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T59373A11924813. . Downloaded on 30 November 2015.
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