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(vertebrate zoology)
A family of urodele amphibians in the suborder Salamandroidea characterized by a long row of prevomerine teeth.



(European salamanders), a family of tailed amphibians lacking gills in the adult state. Lungs are present, and the eyelids are well developed. The vertebrae are opisthocoelous. Fertilization is internal, with the male depositing spermatophores. True salamanders are distributed in Europe, Asia, and North America. Of the 15 genera, the best known are Salamandra, Triturus, and Mertensiella.

The Salamandra have a flat and clumsy body, with a short tail lacking swim fringes. The parotid glands are well developed, and there is no spinal ridge. The coloration is black, sometimes with large yellow or orange-yellow spots. There are three species of Salamandra. S. Salamandra, whose body length reaches 70 cm, is found in the Western Ukraine. It lives in damp, shady places—in rodent burrows, in rock crevices, and in the forest litter. The female deposits as many as 72 larvae into the water; the larvae have branched gills. S. salamandra feeds on small invertebrates. The secretions of its skin glands are poisonous and may cause the death of small animals.

The genus Mertensiella has two species. M. caucasica is found in the USSR in southwestern Georgia. It is smaller than Salamandra but has a longer tail. The tail is marked by auto-tomy and the power of regeneration.

The name “salamander” is also applied to other amphibians, such as the giant salamander (Megalobatrachus japonicus), Plethodontidae, and Salamandrina teraigitata.


References in periodicals archive ?
0 0 Salamandridae 1 1 0,1 1 0 1 Amphiumidae 1 1 0 ?
Collecting ducts that anastomose before interacting with the cloaca or Wolffian ducts (character 2, state 1) either evolved twice on the branches leading to the Ambystomatidae + Dicamptodontidae + Salamandridae and Amphiumidae + Plethodontidae, or once on the branch leading to the Ambystomatidae + Dicamptodontidae + Salamandridae + Rhyacotritonidae + Amphiumidae + Plethodontidae with a reversal on the branch leading to the Rhyacotritonidae.
The presence of Kingsbury's (character 12, state 1) and dorsal pelvic (character 13, state 1) glands may represent a non-ambiguous synapomorphy for the Salamandroidea, whereas the presence of lateral pelvic glands (character 14, state 1) evolved on the branch leading to the Salamandroidea, with subsequent independent losses in the Amphiumidae and Salamandridae.
Non-anastomizing collecting ducts (character 2, state 0) were recovered as the ancestral state for salamanders, and collecting ducts that do anastomose (character 2, state 1) may have evolved independently on the branches leading to the Ambystomatidae + Dicamptodontidae + Salamandridae and Amphiumidae + Plethodontidae clades.
Only the Plethodontidae lack a renal corpuscle (character 7, state 1) separating the vasa efferentia from the more distal epididymal ducts Too little data are available to recover ancestral state for salamanders in terms of Wolffian ducts without ciliated cells (character 8, state 0) or Wolffian ducts with ciliated cells (character 8, state 1) The branches leading to the Ambystomatidae + Dicamptodontidae + Salamandridae and Rhyacotritonidae possess Wolffian ducts with ciliated epithelial cells, whereas the branches leading to the Plethodontidee and Proteidae do not possess ciliated Wolffian ducts.
Lateral glands (character 14) follow a similar trajectory but were again lost in the Amphiumidae, and also the branch leading to the Salamandridae.
1982) Salamandridae Notophthalmus viridescens Kentucky Del Fosse and Whitaker (1971) Massachusetts Rankin (1945) Michigan Kelly (1934); Thomas (1937a); Muzzall (1991) New York Fischthal (1955) Pennsylvania Kelley (1934); Thomas (1937b); Jackson & Beaudoin (1967) South Carolina Kelley (1934); Thomas (1937b) Taricha torosa California Lehmann (1960) * Unpublished Masters of Science Thesis.