Ranodon


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Ranodon

 

a genus of salamanders of the family Hynobiidae of the order Caudata. The genus comprises three species, two of which are found only in China (Shenhsi and Szechuan provinces). One species, R. sibiricus, is found in the USSR, in the mountains of the Dzungarian Alatau. The Ranodon measure up to 25 cm long, half of that length being the laterally compressed tail. The sides have 11 to 13 transverse furrows. The head is flattened. The forelimbs have four digits, and the hind limbs, five; in larvae, the digits have claws. The coloration is greenish gray or dark brown. As with frogs, the vomerine teeth consist of transverse series.

The Ranodon live in mountain streams at elevations up to 2,500 m above sea level. They feed on aquatic invertebrates and winter in nonfreezing springs. In June to August the females lay up to 100 eggs in two long (up to 30 cm) gelatinous sacs, which are attached to underwater rocks. The males deposit special sacs, called spermatophores, containing the sperms next to the sacs. The salamanders of this genus reproduce by external fertilization. The larvae have pectinate external gills; it takes three years for the larvae to transform into the adult form.

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Among those species can be red listed Ranodon sibirius and Bufo danatensis, who dwell on territory of Dzhungar Alatau.
This element was first described as an intrapopulational variant in Ranodon siberieus (Schmalhausen 1917).