Thursday, July 09, 2009
A tiny, colorful, lungless salamander described from the Appalachian highlands of the southeastern United States is so unusual its discoverers had to create a new genus to put it in. Urspelerpes brucei is only 25mm long, brightly colord in an off-yellow, with dark stripes adorning the males only. The last new genus of salamander from the U.S. was discovered in 1961, nearly a half-century ago. Professor Carlos Camp said, "The salamander fauna of the US, particularly of the southern Appalachians, has been intensively studied for well over a century, so the discovery of such a distinct form was completely unsuspected."