AmphibiaWeb - Bolitoglossa gracilis


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Bolitoglossa gracilis Bolaños, Robinson & Wake, 1987

Subgenus: Eladinea
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Hemidactyliinae
genus: Bolitoglossa

© 2010 David Wake (1 of 1)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

This species is a small, somewhat slender yellowish salamander with moderately webbed digits and a dark midventral longitudinal stripe. Adults are 83 to 91 mm in total length. Adult males are 38 mm in standard length, while adult females are 37 to 42 mm in standard length. Tail is long, about 55 to 58% of its total length. Eyes are moderately large and protuberant. Adults have 31 to 58 maxillary teeth and 18 to 22 vomerine teeth. There are 3 to 3 1/2 costal folds between adpressed limbs. Hands and feet are relatively broad and are only somewhat webbed, with all digits somewhat free of webbing and the two phalanges on the longest digits completely free of webbing. Subterminal pads are present on all digits except the first one. Head width is 14 to 16% of standard length, and leg length is 22 to 25% of standard length (Savage 2002).

Juvenile dorsal ground color ranges from bright yellow to a golden tan. Dorsal patterning consists of irregular, scattered black to brown streaks and spots. Ventral color is silver to cream with a reddish brown midventral stripe. Iris is gold (Savage 2002).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Costa Rica


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Endemic to central Costa Rica. This species is known from two localities (Río Quirí and Quebrada Casa Blanca) near Tapantí, Cartago Province, on the Atlantic versant of Costa Rica at 1,225-1,280 m asl (Bolaños et al. 1987; Franzen 1997).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
One individual was collected from a moss mat on a tree, 10 cm above the ground. The smallest juvenile measured 22.9 mm in standard length. This species is a direct developer (Savage 2002).

Trends and Threats
This species appears to be rare. It requires pristine habitat. It occurs within at least one protected area, the Parque Nacional Tapantí. Habitat outside the park has been converted to coffee plantations and is no longer suitable for this species. Also, no suitable habitat remains at the type locality of Río Quiri (Bolaños et al. 2008).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Intensified agriculture or grazing


A Spanish-language species account can be found at the website of Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio).


Bolaños, F., Wake, D., and Savage, J. 2008. Bolitoglossa gracilis. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.1. Downloaded on 09 April 2010.

Bolaños-Vives, F., Robinson-Clark, D. C., and Wake, D. B. (1987). ''A new species of salamander (genus Bolitoglossa) from Costa Rica.'' Revista de Biología Tropical, 35, 87-92.

Franzen, M. (1997). ''Ein Fund von Bolitoglossa gracilis Bolanos, Robinson & Wake, 1987.'' Herpetofauna (Weinstadt), 19, 23-25.

Savage, J. M. (2002). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica:a herpetofauna between two continents, between two seas. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, USA and London.

Originally submitted by: David Chen (first posted 2009-11-02)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2010-04-09)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2010 Bolitoglossa gracilis <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 13, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 13 Apr 2024.

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