Liua tsinpaensis (Liu and Hu, 1966)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Caudata > Family: Hynobiidae > Subfamily: Hynobiinae > Genus: Liua > Species: Liua tsinpaensis

Ranodon tsinpaensis Liu and Hu In Hu, Zhao, and Liu, 1966, Acta Zool. Sinica, 18: 65, 88. Holotype: CIB 623293, by original designation. Type locality: "Hou-tseng-tze, Chouchih Hsien, Shensi [= Shaanxi], alt. 1,830 m", China. This regarded as erroneous by Zhao and Adler, 1993, Herpetol. China: 109, who corrected the type locality to "Diao-yü-tai, Tsinling Mountains (= Qinling), Shaanxi Prov., China".

Pseudohynobius tsinpaensisFei and Ye, 1983, Acta Herpetol. Sinica, Chengdu, N.S.,, 2 (4): 33. Fei, Ye, and Huang, 1990, Key to Chinese Amph.: 46; Fei, 1999, Atlas Amph. China: 32; Fei, Ye, Huang, Jiang, and Xie, 2005, in Fei et al. (eds.), Illust. Key Chinese Amph.: 33.

Ranodon (Pseudohynobius) tsinpaensisKuzmin, 1999, Amph. Former Soviet Union: 116.

Ranodon tsinpaensisKuzmin and Thiesmeier, 2001, Adv. Amph. Res. Former Soviet Union, 6: 102.

Liua tsinpaensisZhang, Chen, Zhou, Liu, Wang, Papenfuss, Wake, and Qu, 2006, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 103: 7361.

Tsinpa tsinpaensisDubois and Raffaëlli, 2012, Alytes, 28: 159. See comment under Liua

English Names

Shaanxi Salamander (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 28).

Tsinpa Salamander (Fei, 1999, Atlas Amph. China: 32).

Qinpa Salamander (Kuzmin and Thiesmeier, 2001, Adv. Amph. Res. Former Soviet Union, 6: 102).


Western Henan, southern Shaanxi, and northeastern Sichuan Provinces, China, 1770–1860 m elevation.


See discussion by Fei and Ye, 1983, Acta Herpetol. Sinica, Chengdu, N.S.,, 2 (4): 31-37. See accounts by Ye, Fei, and Hu, 1993, Rare and Economic Amph. China 46; and (in the sense of including Ranodon flavomaculatus as a synonym) and Thorn and Raffaëlli, 2000, Salamand. Ancien Monde: 132. Fei and Ye, 2001, Color Handbook Amph. Sichuan: 86, provided a brief account. See account by Kuzmin and Thiesmeier, 2001, Adv. Amph. Res. Former Soviet Union, 6: 102-106, who regarded the allopatric Ranodon tsinpaensis and Ranodon flavomaculatus to be distinct species, but requiring additional study; Li, Wu, and Wang, 2004, Acta Zool. Sinica, 50: 464-469, suggested on the basis of mtDNA studies that these are distinct species. See comment under Liua shihi. Fei, Hu, Ye, and Huang, 2006, Fauna Sinica, Amph. 1: 148–150, provided an account (as Pseudohynobius tsinpaensis). See also brief account by Raffaëlli, 2007, Les Urodèles du Monde: 62-63. Chen, Yang, and Qu, 2007, Chinese J. Zool., 42: 148-150, reported the species from Neixiang County, Henan Province, China. See photograph, map, description of geographic range and habitat, and conservation status in Stuart, Hoffmann, Chanson, Cox, Berridge, Ramani, and Young, 2008, Threatened Amph. World: 553. Fei, Ye, and Jiang, 2010, Colored Atlas of Chinese Amph.: 56-57, provided a brief account including photographs of specimens and habitat. Fei, Ye, and Jiang, 2010, Colored Atlas of Chinese Amph.: 56-57, provided a brief account (as Pseudohynobius tsinpaensis) including photographs of specimens and habitat. Fei, Ye, and Jiang, 2012, Colored Atlas Chinese Amph. Distr.: 60–61, provided an account (as Pseudohynobius tsinpaensis), photographs, and map.  Dubois and Raffaëlli, 2012, Alytes, 28: 159, named a monotypic genus for Liua tsinpaensis, the sister taxon of Liua shihi, which under this arrangement becomes the sole member of Liua. Given that the only reason given for such recognition is the distinctiveness of the two species, which until recently were considered to be variant populations of Pseudohynobius flavomaculatus, it is not clear to me that this proliferation of monotypic names serves systematic progress as understood since the early 1970s. I therefore retain this species in Liua, at least until I see some kind of acceptance of the suggested monotypic taxonomy among people working seriously on the phylogenetics of hynobiid salamanders. Zhao, Su, Zhang, and Wang, 2016, Genet. Mol. Res., 15 (2:gmr.15028155): 1–7, confirmed the placed of this species in Liua.  Xiong, Liu, and Zhang, 2016, Asian Herpetol. Res., 7: 112–121, compared the skull of this species with Liua shihi. Fei and Ye, 2016, Amph. China, 1: 226–228, provided an account, photographs, and range map, and discussed the assignment of this species to Liua by Zeng et al (2006), preferring Liua for this species on the basis of morphological similarity. 

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