Difference between revisions of "Ambystoma puerfluminus"

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Common River Salamander
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Ambystoma puerfluminus
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum:
Chordata
Class:
Amphibia
Order:
Caudata
Family:
Ambystomatidae
Genus:
Ambystoma
Species:
A. puerfluminus
Binomial name
Ambystoma puerfluminus
Peron, 1852
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Range of A. puerfluminus in Inyursta
A. p. puerfluminus in maroon
A. p. melanosa in purple
A. p. topoguyensis in blue

Ambystoma puerfluminus, also known as the Common River Salamander, Inyurstan Newt, and Pésacoja; is a species of salamander found in the streams and rivers of Inyursta. It has the largest home range and highest abundance of any species of Inyurstan salamander.

Physical Description

Maxing out at around 25.4cm (10 inches) long total length, A. puerfluminus is one of the larger species of non-serpentine salamanders in Inyursta. They come in a variety of patterns, but almost always have some variation of a spotted pattern with a gray or dull-brown skin color.

The Common River Salamander is one of several species of "false newts" found in Inyursta. They are known as such due to their superficial resemblance to juvenile newts, as well as their aquatic lifestyle. All species of Ambystoma found in Inyursta are either fully paedomorphic, or predominantly paedomorphic with facultative terrestrial adult morphs. As such, they retain the paddle-tail and gills their entire lives. Terrestial adult morphs of A. puerfluminus have only been raised in captivity.

Habitat

Common River Salamanders are found in both slow and fast-moving waters at a variety of altitudes, although they are absent from many areas of the coastal plain. They are associated with clear-water systems with neutral pH's and a wide range of dissolved oxygen levels. Suitable bodies of water are usually ranked as 1 - 3 on the Strahler River Classification, but sometimes level 4 rivers and even the side-branches and off-shoots of level 5 rivers may contain thriving populations.

Preferred substrates include rock bottoms, gravel and coarse sand sediment. The subspecies A. puerfluminus melanosa frequents pools with high amounts of green vegetation and submerged wood features.

Trophic Niche

Common River Salamanders are low-level mesopredators in the stream and creek ecosystems. Typical prey items include aquatic insects, small fish, smaller amphibian larvae and sometimes crustaceans such as aquatic crayfish and freshwater crabs (A. p. melanosa). Less common prey items include worms, other salamanders and even surface insects.

The primary predators of this species are water snakes of the Helicops, Nerodia and Liophis genera. Secondary predators include mammals such as otters and mustelids, while in larger bodies of running water they are vulnerable to predation by large fish and sometimes juvenile and subadult crocodilians.

Subspecies

A. p. puerfluminus - Nominate subspecies; usually gray or dull-brown with distinct black spots. Individuals on the southwestern slopes of the Sierra Miraco tend to have noticibly larger top rows of spots compared to side rows. Largest subspecies of the population.
A. p. melanosa - Rio Neige False Newt; dark gray or black, with thin white outline around its small spots. Typically smaller than the other two species. Utilizes soft-bottom and heavily vegetated habitats.
A. p. topoguyensis - Topoguyan River Salamander; isolated subspecies from Topoguya. Main body may be gray or dull-bluish while the black spots are much larger and blotchy than its conspecific subspecies. Smaller overall length, but head width is noticeably larger.