(vertebrate zoology)
A family of salamanders in the suborder Cryptobranchoidea.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a family of caudate amphibians. The body length may reach 25 cm, of which approximately half is the tail. There are five genera, including Ranodon, which encompass more than 30 species. Members are distributed mainly in North and East Asia; however, one species is found in northeastern Europe, and one in West Asia. They inhabit mountains, to elevations of 4,000 m, as well as valleys, where they are mainly encountered in forests. Some Hynobiidae, such as the Siberian newt (R. sibiricus), live in the water, mainly in mountain streams and springs, and only occasionally climb out onto dry land. Others, such as R. keyserlingi, go into the water only during the mating period.

The Hynobiidae reproduce by external fertilization. The male deposits spermatophores in the water, while the female deposits sausage-shaped sacs containing 7–60 eggs. The Hynobiidae feed on small invertebrates, such as crustaceans, myriapods, arachnids, insects, and earthworms. The USSR has three species: R. keyserlingi, the Siberian newt, and the Ussuri salamander (Ussuri fischeri).


Terent’ev, P. V., and S. A. Chernov. Opredelitel’ presmykaiush-chikhsia i zemnovodnykh, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1949.
Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 4, part 2. Moscow, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
2010: Age, body size, and sexual dimorphism in size and shape in Salamandrella keyserlingii (Caudata: Hynobiidae).
(eds.), Handbusch der Reptilien und Amphibien Europas, band 4/I Schwanzlurche (Urodela) I (Hynobiidae, Proteidae, Plethodontidae, Salamandridae I: Pleurodeles, Salamandrina, Euproctus, Chioglossa, Mertensiella).
Effect of temperature on blood parameters of the salamander Batrachupems tibetanus (Schmidt, 1925) (Amphibia: Hynobiidae).
Families not included by Baker and his students included the Hynobiidae, (previously described by Yamagiwa, 1924), Dicamptodontidae (briefly described later by de Marco, 1952), and the Rhyacotritonidae (about which no current data exist).
Despite the similarity of the genital kidney to that of sirenids, the pelvic kidney of the Rhyacotritonidae is most similar to that of the Cryptobranchidae and the Hynobiidae (i.e., collecting ducts that communicate individually with the cranial portion of the cloaca), a condition that could be considered homoplastic in the context of our current understanding of salamander phylogeny.
The most complex condition, found in the Ambystomatidae, Hynobiidae, Proteidae, Salamandridae, and Siren idae, consists of the following ducts leading from the testes sequentially: the vasa efferentia, Bidder's duct (longitudinal collecting duct), afferent epididymal ducts, and efferent epididymal ducts.
in all other salamanders the collecting ducts bend caudally during development (Rodgers and Risley, 1938) and either anastomose and enter the cloaca (in the Plethodontidae and some Salamandridae; Francis, 1934; Baker, 1965; Strickland, 1966), anastomose and enter Wolthan ducts (in the Ambystomatidae, Amphiumidae, and some Salamandridae, Baker, 1945; Baker and Taylor, 1964; Baker, 1965), or enter the cloaca individually (in the Cryptobranchidae and Hynobiidae; Ratcliff, 1965; Yamagiwa, 1924).
In general terms, male salamanders with external fertilization (i.e., the Cryptobranchidae, Hynobiidae, and Sirenidae) have few or no cloacal glands whereas salamanders with internal fertilization (all other salamanders; i.e., Salamandroidea) have abundant cloacal glands.
The major difference between the two topologies was the recovery of the Sirenidae as the basal salamander lineage (results in a monophyletic Salamandroidea; Wiens et al., 2005) or the recovery of the Cryptobranchidae + Hynobiidae clade as the basal salamander lineage and the Sirenidae as the sister taxon to Proteidae (results in a paraphyletic Salamandroidea; Struck, 2007).
Collecting ducts that do not communicate along the length of the Wolffian ducts adjacent to the pelvic kidneys (character 1, state 1) evolved either once on the branch leading to all salamanders, excluding the Sirenidae (with secondary loss in the Proteidae; character 1, state 0), or evolved independently on the branches leading to the Cryptobranchidae + Hynobiidae and the Salamandroidea excluding the Proteidae.
However, collecting ducts that do not communicate with the Wolffian ducts along their lengths traveling adjacent to the pelvic kidney (character 1, state 1) were recovered as the ancestral state for the Cryptobranchidae + Hynobiidae and all other salamander excluding the Proteidae and Sirenidae.
The Cryptobranchidae + Hynobiidae, Ambystomatidae Dicamptodontidae + Salamandridae, and Proteidae lineages possess a Bidder's duct, while this characteristic is lacking on the branches leading to the Sirenidae and Amphiumidae + Plethodontidae + Rhyacotritonidae.