Digimorph, An NSF Digital Library at UT Austin, Texas
Browse the Library by:
 Scientific Names
 Common Names
 What's New ?
 What's Popular?
Learn More
Overview Pages
A Production of

Karsenia koreana, Korean Crevice Salamander
Dr. David Buckley - University of California, Berkeley
M.H. Wake, D.B. Wake
Karsenia koreana
Click for help
Click for more information

Private Collection of David R. Vieites (DRV 5033)

Image processing: Dr. Jessie Maisano
Publication Date: 22 Mar 2010

upper body | head only


The imagery on this page is the basis for a paper entitled Comparative skull osteology of Karsenia koreana (Amphibia, Caudata, Plethodontidae), by D. Buckley, M.H. Wake and D.B.Wake (2010, Journal of Morphology, 271, 533-558). The abstract is as follows:

       The recent discovery of a plethodontid salamander, Karsenia koreana, in Korea challenged our        understanding of the biogeographic history of the family Plethodontidae, by far the largest family of        salamanders, which otherwise is distributed in the New World with a few European species. Molecular        studies suggest that Karsenia forms a clade with Hydromantes (sensu lato), which includes among its        species the only other Old World plethodontids. We studied the skull of K. koreana and compared it        with that of other plethodontid genera, especially members of the subfamily Plethodontinae, which it        resembles most closely in general anatomy. The anatomy of its skull corresponds to the most        generalized and apparently ancestral condition for plethodontids. No clearly autapomorphic states        were detected, and no synapomorphies can be found that would link it to other genera. The Karsenia        skull is cylindrical and well ossified, giving an impression of strength. In contrast, the skull of        Hydromantes is highly derived; the skull is flattened and the bones are weakly ossified and        articulated. Hydromantes and Karsenia share no unique anatomical features; differences between        them are especially evident in the hyobranchial skeleton, which is generalized in Karsenia but highly        modified in Hydromantes, which is well known for its highly projectile tongue. Plethodon and        Plethodon-like species, including Karsenia and to a lesser degree Ensatina, represent the more        generalized and apparently ancestral plethodontid morphology. Specialized morphologies have evolved        along only a few morphological axes within the Plethodontidae, resulting in a pattern of rampant        homoplasy. Our analysis of the anatomy of the new Asiatic lineage illuminates some potential        mechanisms underlying adaptive morphological evolution within the Plethodontidae.

About the Species

This specimen, a female, was collected from Sanan-Ri, South Korea. It was made available to The University of Texas High-Resolution X-ray CT Facility for scanning by Dr. David Cannatella of The University of Texas and the Amphibian Tree of Life project (EF-0334952). Funding for scanning and image processing was provided by Dr. Cannatella's grant, and funding for additional image processing was provided by a National Science Foundation Digital Libraries Initiative grant to Dr. Timothy Rowe of The University of Texas at Austin.

About this Specimen

This specimen was scanned by Matthew Colbert on 22 November 2006 along the coronal axis for a total of 675 slices. Each 1024x1024 pixel slice is 0.0272 mm thick, with an interslice spacing of 0.0272 mm and a field of reconstruction of 9 mm.

About the


Adams L. 1942. The natural history and classification of the Mount Lyell salamander, Hydromantes        platycephalus. Univ Calif Pub Zool 46:179–204.
Arnold SJ. 1977. The evolution of courtship behavior in New World salamanders with some comments on        Old World salamanders. In: Taylor DH, Guttman SI, editors. The Reproductive Biology of Amphibians.        New York: Plenum Press. pp 141–183.
Camp CL. 1916. Spelerpes platycephalus, a new alpine salamander from the Yosemite National Park,        California. Univ Calif Pub Zool 17:11–14.
Chippindale PT, Bonett RM, Baldwin AS, Wiens JJ. 2004. Phylogenetic evidence for a major reversal of life-       history evolution in plethodontid salamanders. Evolution 58:2809–2822.
Coss HT. 1974. Maxillary and premaxillary dentition of salamanders of the tribe Plethodontini (Family        Plethodontidae). Ph.D. Dissertation. Clemson (SC): Clemson University. ix 1 70 p.
Crochet PA. 2007. Nomenclature of European plethodontid salamanders: Speleomantes Dubois, 1984 has        precedence over Atylodes Gistel, 1868. Amphib-Reptil 28:170–172.
Deban SM, Wake DB, Roth G. 1997. Salamander with a ballistic tongue. Nature 389:27–28.
Deban SM, O’Reilly JC, Dicke U, van Leeuwen JL. 2007. Extremely high-power tongue projection in        plethodontid salamanders. J Exp Biol 210:655–667.
Francis ETB. 1934. The Anatomy of the Salamander. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p 381, 25 pls.
Frost DR, Grant T, Faivovich J, Bain RH, Haas A, Haddad CF, de Sα RO, Channing A, Wilkinson M, Donnellan        S, Raxworthy CJ, Campbell JA, Blotto BL, Moler P, Drewes RC, Nussbaum RA, Lynch JD, Green DM,        Wheeler WC. 2006. The amphibian tree of life. Bull Am Mus Nat Hist 297:1–371.
Gao KQ, Shubin NH. 2001. Late Jurassic salamanders from China. Nature 410:574–577.
Gao KQ, Shubin NH. 2003. Earliest known crown-group salamanders. Nature 422:424–428.
Good DA, Wake DB. 1992. Geographic variation and speciation in the Torrent Salamanders of the genus        Rhyacotriton (Caudata: Rhyacotritonidae). Univ Calif Pub Zool 126:1–91.
Greven H, Clemen G. 1976. Morphologische Untersuchungen an der Mundhφhle von Urodelen. II. Die        Gaumenzahnfelder von Hydromantes italicus Dunn (Plethodontidae: Amphibia). Zool Beitr 22:489–506.
Hilton WA. 1945. The skeleton of Hydromantes. J Ent Zool 37:98–99.
Hinderstein B. 1971. The desmognathine jaw mechanism (Amphibia: Caudata: Plethodontidae).        Herpetologica 27:467– 476.
Hufford L. 1996. Ontogenetic evolution, clade diversification, and homoplasy. In: Sanderson MJ, Hufford L,        editors. Homoplasy: The Recurrence of Similarity in Evolution. San Diego: Academic Press. pp 271–301.
Jaeger RG, Forester DC. 1993. Social behavior of plethodontid salamanders. Herpetologica 49:163–175.
Kozak KH, Weisrock DW, Larson A. 2006. Rapid lineage accumulation in a non-adaptive radiation:        Phylogenetic analysis of diversification rates in eastern North American woodland salamanders        (Plethodontidae: Plethodon). Proc R Soc Lond B 275:539–546.
Lanza B, Caputo V, Nascetti G, Bullini L. 1995. Morphological and genetic studies of the European        plethodontid salamanders: Taxonomic inferences (genus Hydromantes). Monogr Mus Reg Sci Nat 16:1–       366.
Larson A. 1984. Neontological inferences of evolutionary patterns and processes in the salamander family        Plethodontidae. Evol Biol 17:119–217.
Larson A, Dimmick WW. 1993. Phylogenetic relationships of the salamander families: An analysis of        congruence among morphological and molecular characters. Herp Monogr 7:77–93.
Leopold JL, Maglia AM, Pugener LA, Gauch S. 2007. The Amphibian Anatomical Ontology web project.        Available at: http:// www.amphibanat.org, Accessed June 2009.
Lombard RE, Wake DB. 1976. Tongue evolution in the lungless salamanders, family Plethodontidae. I.        Introduction, theory and a general model of dynamics. J Morphol 148:265–286.
Lombard RE, Wake DB. 1977. Tongue evolution in the lungless salamanders, family Plethodontidae. II.        Function and evolutionary diversity. J Morphol 153:39–80.
Lombard RE, Wake DB. 1986. Tongue evolution in the lungless salamanders, family Plethodontidae. IV.        Phylogeny of plethodontid salamanders and the evolution of feeding dynamics. Syst Zool 35:532–551.
Maglia AM, Pyles RA. 1995. Modulation of prey-capture behavior in Plethodon cinereus (Green) (Amphibia:        Caudata). J Exp Zool 272:167–183.
Maglia AM, Leopold JL, Pugener LA, Gauch S. 2007. An anatomical ontology for amphibians. Proc Pac Symp        Biocomp 12:367–378.
McShea DW. 1996. Complexity and homoplasy. In: Sanderson MJ, Hufford L, editors. Homoplasy: The        Recurrence of Similarity in Evolution. San Diego: Academic Press. pp 207–225.
Mead LS, Clayton DR, Nauman RS, Olson DH, Pfrender ME. 2005. Newly discovered populations of        salamanders from Siskiyou County California represent a species distinct from Plethodon stormi.        Herpetologica 61:158–177.
Means DB. 1974. The status of Desmognathus brimleyorum Stejneger and an analysis of the genus        Desmognathus (Amphibia: Urodela) in Florida. Bull Florida State Mus 18:1– 100.
Min MS, Yang SY, Bonett RM, Vieites DR, Brandon RA, Wake DB. 2005. Discovery of the first Asian        plethodontid salamander. Nature 435:87–90.
Monath T. 1965. The opercular apparatus of salamanders. J Morphol 116:149–170.
Mueller R, Macey JR, Jaekel M, Wake DB, Boore JL. 2004. Morphological homoplasy, life history evolution,        and historical biogeography of plethodontid salamanders inferred from complete mitochondrial        genomes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101: 13820–13825.
Noble GK. 1931. The Biology of the Amphibia. New York: McGraw-Hill. p 577.
Noble GK, Pope SH. 1929. The modification of the cloaca and teeth of the adult salamander,        Desmognathus, by testicular transplants and by castration. J Exp Biol 6:401–411.
Noble GK, Brady MK. 1930. The courtship of the plethodontid salamanders. Copeia 1930:52–54.
Parra-Olea G, Wake DB. 2001. Extreme morphological and ecological homoplasy in tropical salamanders.        Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98:7888–7891.
Rasband WS. 2008. ImageJ. Bethesda, MD: US National Institutes of Health. Available at:        http://rsb.info.nih.gov/ij/
Roth G. 1976. Experimental analysis of the prey catching behavior of Hydromantes italicus Dunn (Amphibia.        Plethodontidae). J Comp Physiol A 109:47–58.
Roth G. 1987. Visual Behavior in Salamanders. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
Roth G, Wake DB. 1985. Trends in the functional morphology and sensorimotor control of feeding behavior        in salamanders: An example of the role of internal dynamics in evolution. Acta Biotheoretica 34:175–       192.
Schwenk K, Wake DB. 1993. Prey processing in Leurognathus marmoratus and the evolution of form and        function in desmognathine salamanders (Plethodontidae). Biol J Linn Soc 49:141–162.
Sessions SK, Stφck M, Vieites DR, Quarles R, Min MS, Wake DB. 2008. Cytogenetic analysis of the Asian        plethodontid salamander, Karsenia koreana: Evidence for karyotypic conservation, chromosome        repatterning, and genome size evolution. Chromosome Res 16:563–574.
Staub NL. 1993. Intraspecific agonistic behavior of the salamander Aneides flavipunctatus (Amphibia:        Plethodontidae) with comparisons to other species. Herpetologica 49:271–282.
van der Meijden A, Chiari Y, Mucedda M, Carranza S, Corti C, Veith M. 2009. Phylogenetic relationships of        Sardinian cave salamanders, genus Hydromantes, based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence        data. Mol Phylogen Evol 51:399– 404.
Vieites DR, Min MS, Wake DB. 2007. Rapid diversification and dispersal during periods of global warming by        plethodontid salamanders. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:19903–19907.
Vieites DR, Zhang P, Wake DB. 2009. Salamanders (Caudata). In: Hedges SB, Kumar S, editors. The Timetree        of Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp 365–368.
Wake DB. 1963. Comparative osteology of the plethodontid salamander genus Aneides. J Morphol 113:77–       118.
Wake DB. 1966. Comparative osteology and evolution of the lungless salamanders, family Plethodontidae.        Mem South Cal Acad Sci 4:1–111.
Wake DB. 1987. Adaptive radiation of salamanders in Middle American cloud forests. Ann Missouri Bot Gard        74:242–264.
Wake DB. 1991. Homoplasy: The result of natural selection, or evidence of design limitations? Am Nat        138:543–567.
Wake DB, Larson A. 1987. Multidimensional analysis of an evolving lineage. Science 238:42–48.
Wake DB, Roth G. 1989. The linkage between ontogeny and phylogeny in the evolution of complex systems.        In: Wake DB, Roth G, editors. Complex Organismal Functions: Integration and Evolution in Vertebrates.        New York: Wiley. pp 361–377.
Wake DB, Hanken J. 1996. Direct development in the lungless salamanders: What are the consequences for        developmental biology, evolution and phylogenesis? Int J Dev Biol 40:859– 869.
Wake DB, Deban SM. 2000. Terrestrial feeding in salamanders. In: Schwenk K, editor. Feeding: Form,        Function, Phylogeny. San Diego: Academic Press. pp 95–116.
Wake DB, Roth G, Wake MH. 1983a. On the problem of stasis in organismal evolution. J Theor Biol 101:211–       224.
Wake TA, Wake DB, Wake MH. 1983b. The ossification sequence of Aneides lugubris, with comments on        heterochrony. J Herpetol 17:10–22.
Wake DB, Salvador A, Alonso-Zarazaga MA. 2005. Taxonomy of the plethodontid salamander genus        Hydromantes (Caudata: Plethodontidae). Amphib-Reptil 26:543–548.
Wells KD. 2007. The Ecology and Behavior of Amphibians. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. xi 1 1148 p.
Wiedersheim R. 1875. Salamandrina perspicillata und Geotriton fuscus. Versuch einer vergleichenden        Anatomie der Salamandrinen. Ann Musc Civ Stor Nat Genova 7:1–207, 17 pls.
Wiens JJ, Bonett RM, Chippindale PT. 2005. Ontogeny discombulates phylogeny: Paedomorphosis and        higher-level salamander relationships. Syst Biol 564:91–105.
Wilder I, Dunn ER. 1920. The correlation of lunglessness in salamanders with a mountain brook habitat.        Copeia 1920:63–68.
Wiltenmuth EB. 1996. Agonistic and sensory behaviour of the salamander Ensatina eschscholtzii during        asymmetrical contests. Anim Behav 52:841–850.
Wiltenmuth EB, Nishikawa KC. 1998. Geographical variation in agonistic behaviour in a ring species of        salamander, Ensatina eschscholtzii. Anim Behav 55:1595–1606.
Zhang P, Wake DB. 2009. Higher-level salamander relationships and divergence dates inferred from        complete mitochondrial genomes. Mol Phylogen Evol 53:492–508.


Karsenia koreana press release from UC Berkeley

& Links

Front page image.

Karsenia koreana

To cite this page: Dr. David Buckley, M.H. Wake, D.B. Wake, 2010, "Karsenia koreana" (On-line), Digital Morphology. Accessed October 23, 2014 at http://digimorph.org/specimens/Karsenia_koreana/head/.

©2002 - UTCT/DigiMorph Funding by NSF
Hits=2301. Comments to info@digimorph.org