AmphibiaWeb - Bolitoglossa guaneae


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Bolitoglossa guaneae Acosta-Galvis & Gutiérrez-Lamus, 2012

Subgenus: Eladinea
family: Plethodontidae
subfamily: Hemidactyliinae
genus: Bolitoglossa
Species Description: Acosta-Galvis AR, Gutierrez-Lamus DL. 2012. A new species of salamander (Bolitoglossa: Plethodontidae) from the Cordillera Oriental of the Colombian Andes. Papeis Avulsos de Zoologia, Mus Zool Univ Sao Paulo 52:201-218.

© 2012 Andrés Acosta (1 of 3)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Vulnerable (VU)
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Bolitoglossa guaneae is a small salamander found in Colombia whose snout to vent length is 31.53 - 46.56 mm in adult males and 39.76 - 46.08 mm in adult females. The head width is 73.34 - 92.18% of the head length in adult males and 72.16 - 88.18% of the head length in adult females. In the profile, the snout is short, slopes ventrolateral, and projects over the upper jaw. The upper lip is not prominent or wide. The nasolabial grooves are short, curve toward the labia, and are more prominent in males. The canthus rostralis is not prominent whereas the post cephalic constriction is very distinguishable. The eyes are protruded. The diameter of the eyes compared to the head length in males is 30.8 - 36.8% of the length and in females is 18.04 - 29.85%. The males have a nearly oval mental gland that is most prominent on the posterior portion and is 30 - 45.9% of head width. The gular folds are prominent and pointed towards the ventrolateral cephalic region. The limbs have extensive webbing, but the tips of the digits are free. No tubercles are present on finger or toes, and no digital depressions are present. The hand length in males is 26.55 - 48.71% of head length and in females 28.79 - 42.09% the length. The relative length of the fingers in order from longest to shortest is 3, 2, 4, and 1. The fingertips short and triangular. They have short robust hindlimbs with a foot length that is 38.63 - 53.84% of head length in males and in females 35.2 - 48%. The relative length of the toes is 3, 4, 2, 5, and 1. There are no post-iliac glands. The lateral and ventral dorsum skin is smooth. The tail length in males is 67.08 - 89.96% of snout-vent length and in females it’s 60.71 - 79.53% of the length. They have a laterally compressed tail with constriction at the base, which is a very distinct characteristic (Acosta-Galvis and Gutierrez-Lamus 2012).

Bolitoglossa guaneae differs from other Colombian salamanders by many different aspects. It differs from B. adspersa, B. hiemalis, B. hypacra, B. ramosi, B. savagei, B. tatamae, B. walkeri and B. vallecula by not having basal webbing between toes instead having extensive webbing with free tip. It is distinguished from B. altamazonica by having a longer third finger. The ventral surface in B. guaneae is brown with white dots, which distinguishes it from B. biseriata and B. silverstonei. The lack of digital depression distinguishes it from B. medemi, more protruding eyes distinguish it from B. lozanoi and B. nicefori. In having dark brown dorsal and lateral surfaces, B. guaneae is distinguished from B. phalarosoma. Bolitoglossa guaneae differs from B. sima by less extensive webbing. And lastly, B. pandi and B. capitana are larger than B. guaneae (Acosta-Galvis and Gutierrez-Lamus 2012).

The color in life is dark brown on the dorsum with some mottled or white streaks. The guanophores are a diffuse pale blue and cream with reddish marks visible in some individuals. The sides of the animal are brown with cream spots sometimes mottled white with faint blue guanophores. The hindlimbs have a dark brown coloration with a little reddish tint. The tail can range from light to dark brown with your occasional white streak. The tail can be mottled white as well but not always. The iris is copper without any black reticulations (Acosta-Galvis and Gutierrez-Lamus 2012).

The color in preservation is dark brown from the head to the tail with feet and hands light brown. The belly is also dark brown with a few cream patches and cream guanophores (Acosta-Galvis and Gutierrez-Lamus 2012).

Males exhibit secondary sexual traits, such as mental glands, but the species, otherwise, has little variation besides the amount of guanophores and white patterning on the skin (Acosta-Galvis and Gutierrez-Lamus 2012).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Colombia


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Bolitoglossa guaneae is found in the Colombian Andes, specifically in the central region on the western slopes of the Colombian Cordillera Oriental in the Departamentos of Santander and Boyacá at elevations between 1700 - 2400 m. This region consists of Andean forests (Acosta-Galvis and Gutierrez-Lamus 2012).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Bolitoglossa guaneae is a rare nocturnal species that is terrestrial. They are mostly found on herbaceous vegetation close to ground in primary and secondary forests (Acosta-Galvis and Gutierrez-Lamus 2012).

This species is a slow moving and recognized as one of the smallest species found in Colombia (Acosta-Galvis and Gutierrez-Lamus 2012).

There is little known about these species besides, but it is assumed to a direct developer as that is a trait of the genus (Acosta-Galvis and Gutierrez-Lamus 2012).

Predators of the species are unknown and their food source/ prey is also unknown (Acosta-Galvis and Gutierrez-Lamus 2012).

Trends and Threats
Bolitoglossa guaneaeare locally abundant and occurs in several protected areas such as Distrito Regional de Manejo Integrado Serranía de los Yariguies and Parque Nacional Regional Bosques Andinos Húmedos El Rasgón in Santander Department, Colombia. However, this species is considered “Vulnerable” according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN 2017) with the main threats being habitat loss due to logging, mining, and agriculture. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has also been reported within the species’ range (Ruiz and Rueda-Almonacid 2008).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Habitat fragmentation


Based on morphological characters, B. guaneae is closely related to B. pandi and B. phalarosoma (Acosta-Galvis and Gutierrez-Lamus 2012)

The specific epithet, “guaneae”, alludes to the native Guanes who lived within the distribution range of the species. They inhabited the area since 600 B.C and in 1586 they almost disappeared after fighting with the Spanish. They currently live in Guane, a town of Santander in a small Indian area (Acosta-Galvis and Gutierrez-Lamus 2012).


Acosta-Galvis, A.R., Gutierrez-Lamus, D.L. (2012). "A new species of salamander (Bolitoglossa: Plethodontidae) from the Cordillera Oriental of the Colombian Andes." Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia , 52(18), 201‑218. [link]

IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2017. Bolitoglossa guaneae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T77345997A85876494.``7-2.RLTS.T77345997A85876494.en.

Ruiz, A., and Rueda-Almonacid, J. V. (2008). ''Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and chytridiomycosis in anuran amphibians of Colombia.'' EcoHealth, 5, 27-33.

Originally submitted by: Lana Ahn, Jessica Negrete, Trevoun Smalls (2021-06-12)
Description by: Lana Ahn, Jessica Negrete, Trevoun Smalls (updated 2021-06-12)
Distribution by: Lana Ahn, Jessica Negrete, Trevoun Smalls (updated 2021-06-12)
Life history by: Lana Ahn, Jessica Negrete, Trevoun Smalls (updated 2021-06-12)
Trends and threats by: Lana Ahn, Jessica Negrete, Trevoun Smalls (updated 2021-06-12)
Comments by: Lana Ahn, Jessica Negrete, Trevoun Smalls (updated 2021-06-12)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2021-10-19)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2021 Bolitoglossa guaneae <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Sep 28, 2023.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 28 Sep 2023.

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