This species is known only from a small area around Santa Cruz, south-west of Guadalajara, in south-central Jalisco, Mexico, at approximately 1,494.5-1,586m asl. A population in the Guadalajara area requires taxonomic confirmation. This species' range is not well understood.
Habitat and Ecology
This is a metamorphosing species that spends most of its time on land in desert shrubland and thorn forest. However, a larval stage could persist in water bodies around Guadalajara. It has been found on roads at night, and larvae have been collected in small pools and artificial ponds. Individual animals can live for 25 years.
There is very little information on this species.
The main threat to this species is the general destruction and fragmentation of its habitat as a result of smallholder farming. It is also adversely affected by water pollution, and construction of roads and human settlements. Introduced predatory fish are another serious problem.
Fieldwork in the Santa Cruz area is required in order to confirm the presence of this species in the wild, and to draw up plans for the conservation of its habitat. It is protected under the category 'Pr' (special protection) by the government of Mexico.
Allozyme data (Shaffer 1984a) seem to confirm the original morphological description of this as a distinct species (Dixon 1963); mitochondrial DNA sequence data indicate a very close relationship to several Mexican populations of Ambystoma velasci (Shaffer and McKnight 1996).
Brad Shaffer, Oscar Flores-Villela, Gabriela Parra-Olea, David Wake, Ted Papenfuss, Paulino Ponce-Campos 2010. Ambystoma flavipiperatum. In: IUCN 2014