Bolitoglossa peruviana — Peruvian Climbing Salamander
I really wanted to see a Bolitoglossa salamander when I was in the Amazon basin, so I was thrilled when I spotted this little guy clinging to a leaf at night. I was so thrilled that my hiking partner Mitch Berk thought I was a little bit loony as I ignored various amazing rainforest invertebrates and continued to wax rhapsodic over this small, drab salamander.
Since this was the first salamander found by our group, I bagged it and brought it back to the field station for others to photograph the next day. I also took a few photos in the morning light.
Depending on whom you ask, there are one or two or three or perhaps more Bolitoglossa species in the upper Amazon basin. But if there are indeed multiple species, they are very hard to tell apart. The clearest stated difference between B. peruviana and B. altamazonica is the length of the tail, which is less than half of the total length in the former and more than half in the latter. This tail seems to be less than half the total length.
Another cute little salamander perched nearly vertically on a leaf. I guess maybe it's less cute and more Godzilla-esque if you are a tiny bug.
Just one more vertically clinging salamander. This one is considerably more colorful than the others, but as far as I can tell it's still the same species.
We saw two more on my first night in the rainforest in 2016. The first one definitely had a tail shorter than half of the total length, so I'm confident that it is B. peruviana as opposed to B. altamazonica. And then
- Bartlett, R.D., and Bartlett, P. 2003. Reptiles and Amphibians of the Amazon: An Ecotourist's Guide
- Duellman, W.E. 2005. Cusco Amazónico: The Lives of Amphibians and Reptiles in an Amazonian Rainforest
- Rodríguez, L. O. and Duellman, W. E. 1994. Guide to the Frogs of the Iquitos Region, Amazonian Peru