ADPRESSED LIMBS limbs that are pressed parallel to the sides of the body
ALLOTOPIC referring to two species or other groups that co-occur regionally but do not share the same local habitat
AMPLEXUS the position assumed by male and female frogs during egg laying and external fertilization; the male is on the female's back, clasping her under her forelegs.
ANTERIOR referring to the front or snout end of an animal
ANURAN frogs and toads
ARBOREAL tree-dwelling
AUTOTOMY self-amputation of the tail
BALANCER a fleshy appendage that extends from each side of the head of hatchling (larval) salamanders; they are typically associated with pond-type larvae.
BENTHIC associated with the bottom of a waterbody
CANTHUS ROSTRALIS a raised, dorsal-lateral, bony ridge that extends from the eye to the tip of the snout
CARAPACE the top shell of a turtle
CLOACA (VENT) chamber into which the intestinal, urinary, and reproductive tracts open
COMPRESSED flattened from side to side, such as the tails of many salamanders
COSTAL GROOVES vertical grooves on the sides of a salamander
COURTSHIP a ritualized behavioral pattern prior to mating: functions to stimulate and synchronize the readiness to mate
CUSP a curves or straight projection arising from the surface of the crown of the tooth
DEPRESSED flattened from top to bottom, such as the body of the hellbender.
DIGIT toe or finger
DISTAL away from the body; outward
DIURNAL active during daylight
DORSAL (DORSUM) the top or back of an animal
DORSAL-LATERAL RIDGE Folds that extend from behind the eye along the lateral surface of the trunk
EFT the terrestrial phase of a predominantly aquatic newt
ECTOTHERM cold-blooded species; a species that depends on an external heat source to warm its body
ENDANGERED SPECIES any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range other than a species of the Class Insecta determined by the Secretary to constitute a pest whose protection under the provisions of this Act would present an overwhelming and overriding risk to man.
EPHEMERAL lasting a very short time
ESTIVATE to spend the summer in a state of torpor or stagnation
FOSSORIAL adapted to digging
GENIAL GLAND a pitlike gland on the side of the head of a newt that presumably functions to mediate courtship behavior
GILL a feathery or filamentous aquatic respiratory organ
GRAVID pregnant
HEDONIC GLAND a gland that secretes chemicals that stimulate sexual activity; it is often used by males in courtship
HERPS/HERPETILES amphibian and reptiles
HIBERNACULA shelters occupied during the winter by dormant animals
HOME RANGE the area over which an organism wanders during its normal activities
HOMING the ability to return to a specific location following displacement
HYBRID an individual that is the result of a cross between two genetically distinct parental types
HYDROPERIOD length of time a pond is flooding
IMMACULATE spotless; unicolor
IRIDOPHORE a cell that contains light pigments and produces brassy, silvery, golden, or whitish coloration on the body.
JUVENILE a sexually immature individual; in species with biphasic life cycles, the stage between the termination of metamorphosis and the onset of sexual maturity
KEEL a thin, raised edge that runs along the dorsal surface of the tail
LATERAL referring to the sides of an animal
LARVA (pl., larvae) a gilled, free-living, post-hatching stage capable of acquiring its own nourishment. The larval stage begins at hatching and ends at metamorphosis, and is therefore lacking in species whose terrestrial eggs metamorphose at hatching.
MEDIAN the midline of the body
MELANISTIC abnormally dark or blackish
MELANOPHORE a cell that contains the pigment melanim, which produces black, grayish, or brownish coloration on the body
MENTAL GLANDS secretory glands found on the chin of male salamander that are used in courtship. Theses are often organized into rounded or oblong, raised patches that are visible with the naked eye.
MESIC requiring or characterized by moderate moisture
METAMORPH a term applied to an individual that has recently transformed, typically to the time between resorption of the gills and the acquisition of juvenile color patterns
MORPH one of a small number of variants in coloration or morphology that occur in a group
NARIS a nostril or external opening to the nasal passages
NASOLABIAL GROOVE a slitlike channel that extends from the lateral corner of each naris to the margin of the upper lip; it is characteristic of members of the family Plethodontidae
NOCTURNAL active at night
NYMPH any of various immature insects
OPAQUE impenetrable to light
OVIDUCT a tube that transports eggs from the ovaries toward the cloaca
OVIPAROUS producing eggs
OVIPOSIT to lay eggs
PAROTOID GLAND a swollen gland at the back of the head that secretes noxious or poisonous compounds and aids in the defense against predators.
PLASTRON the bottom shell of a turtle
POND LARVAE a type of larva characterized by a deep dorsal fin that extends well forward on the body, long feathery gills, slender toes, and often the presence of balancers during its early stages
POSTERIOR referring to the tail end of an animal
PROXIMAL toward the body, inward
RIPARIAN related to the banks of a river (may also refer to lake shores)
SNOUT-VENT LENGTH (SVL) the distance from the tip of the snout to the posterior margin of the cloaca
SPERMATOPHORE a structure deposited on substrates by courting male salamanders that typically consists of a mass of semial fluid (sperm cap) resting upon a gelatinous base
SPERM CAP a mass of seminal fluid that rests upon the top of the jelly base of a spermatophore
STREAM LARVA a type of larva characterized by a dorsal fin that extends no further forward than the level of the hindlimbs, short bushy gills, the absence of balances, and short toes
TAIL LENGTH the distance from the posterior angle of the vent to the tip of the tail (when body length is measured as standard length); the distance from the anterior angle of the vent to the tip of the tail (when the body length is measured as snout-vent length)
TAIL-STRADDLE WALK a phase of courtship in plethodontid salamanders in which the female is led
TETRAPLOID having four sets of chromosomes instead of the usual two
THREATENED SPECIES any species which is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
TRIPLOID having three sets of chromosomes instead of the usual two
TRUNCATE shortened and squared off: broad at the tip
TYMPANUM eardrum; most frogs and toads have a large external one
VENTRAL (VENTER) the bottom or abdomen of an animal
VENT external opening into the cloaca
VIVIPAROUS producing live young
XERIC requiring or characterized by a small amount of moisture