Two-toed amphiuma Amphiuma means, photographed by J. D. Wilson.

Belongs within: Euskelia.
Contains: Cryptobranchoidei, Plethodontidae, Salamandridae.

The Caudata are the salamanders, one of the three major groups of living amphibian-grade tetrapods. The earliest known caudates appear in the Jurassic, with both stem- and crown-group taxa known from this period. The neotenic Sirenidae (sirens) have sometimes been regarded as the sister taxon to the remaining caudates, or even classified outside the caudates, but most recent phylogenies have placed them in a more nested position.

Synapomorphies (from Milner 1988): Vertebrae with bicipital rib-bearers and basapophyses; atlas with tuberculum interglenoideum with distinct articulation facets; stapes with large footplate and short slender stylus; basibranchial I with radial horns in metamorphosed individuals; co-ossified scapulocoracoid.

<==Caudata [Batrachoidei, Caudati, Mecodonta, Saurobatrachii, Urodelia]
    |  i. s.: Liaoxitriton zhongjiani ZBH03
    |         Ramonellus Nevo & Estes 1969 RCQ03
    |         Comonecturoides M88
    |         Prosiren M88
    |--Marmorerpeton GS03
    `--+--+--Karaurus sharovi Ivakhnenko 1978 GS03, RCQ03
       |  `--Kokartus GS03
       `--Urodela [Ambystomatoidea, Neocaudata, Salamandroidea] GS03
            |  i. s.: Noterpeton Rage et al. 1993 [Noterpetontidae] GM01
            |           `--*N. bolivianum Rage et al. 1993 GM01
            |         Galverpeton M88
            |         Diemictylus viridescens D56
            |         Valdotriton gracilis Evans & Milner 1996 GS01, RCQ03
            |--+--Cryptobranchoidei GS03
            |  `--+--Jeholotriton paradoxus GS03, ZBH03
            |     `--+--Laccotriton subsolanus GS03, GS01
            |        `--Sinerpeton Gao & Shubin 2001 GS01
            |             `--*S. fengshanensis Gao & Shubin 2001 GS01
            `--Diadectosalamandroidei FG06
                 |--Plethosalamandroidei FG06
                 |    |--Rhyacotriton Dunn 1920 [Rhyacotritonidae] FG06
                 |    |    |--R. cascadae FG06
                 |    |    |--R. kezeri FG06
                 |    |    |--R. olympicus FG06
                 |    |    `--R. variegatus FG06
                 |    `--Xenosalamandroidei FG06
                 |         |--Plethodontidae FG06
                 |         `--Amphiuma Garden 1821 [Amphiumidae] FG06
                 |              |--A. means BF88
                 |              |--A. pholeter FG06
                 |              `--A. tridactylum HNM93
                 `--Hydatinosalamandroidei FG06
                      |--Perennibranchia (see below for synonymy) FG06
                      |    |--Sirenidae [Sirenes, Sirenina, Trachystomata] FG06
                      |    |    |--Pseudobranchus Gray 1825 FG06
                      |    |    |    `--P. striatus FG06
                      |    |    `--Siren Österdam 1766 [=Sirena] FG06
                      |    |         |--S. intermedia FG06
                      |    |         `--S. lacertina FG06
                      |    `--Proteidae [Proteoidea] FG06
                      |         |--Phanerobranchus Leuckart 1821 [Phanerobranchoidea] FG06
                      |         |--Hylaeobatrachus Dollo 1884 [Hylaeobatrachidae] FG06
                      |         |--Menobrachus Harlan 1825 [Menobranchida] FG06
                      |         |--Necturus Rafinesque 1819 [incl. Exobranchia; Necturi, Necturina] FG06
                      |         |    |--N. alabamensis AA87
                      |         |    |--N. beyeri FG06
                      |         |    `--N. maculosus (Rafinesque 1818) W08
                      |         `--Proteus Laurenti 1768 Sw86 (see below for synonymy)
                      |              `--P. anguinus Laurenti 1768 Sw86 (see below for synonymy)
                      |                   |--P. a. anguinus N10
                      |                   `--P. a. parkelj N10
                      `--Treptobranchia FG06
                           |--Salamandridae FG06
                           `--Ambystomatidae [Ambystomina] FG06
                                |--Dicamptodon Strauch 1870 [Dicamptodontidae, Dicamptodontinae] FG06
                                |    |--D. aterrimus FG06
                                |    |--D. ensatus FG06
                                |    `--D. tenebrosus FG06
                                `--Ambystoma Tschudi 1838 FG06 (see below for synonymy)
                                     |  i. s.: A. annulatum Cope 1886 W08
                                     |         A. californiense FG06
                                     |         A. dumerilii FG06
                                     |         A. gracile (Baird 1859) W08
                                     |         A. jeffersonianum W-CL06
                                     |         A. laterale Hallowell 1875 M68
                                     |         A. macrodactylum Baird 1849 W08
                                     |           |--A. m. macrodactylum W08
                                     |           |--A. m. columbianum Baird 1849 W08
                                     |           `--A. m. croceum Baird 1849 W08
                                     |         A. maculatum (Shaw 1802) W08
                                     |         A. opacum (Gravenhorst 1807) W08
                                     |         A. ordinarium FG06
                                     |         A. platineum Cope 1867 M68
                                     |         A. talpoideum (Holbrook 1838) W08
                                     |         A. texanum (Matthes 1855) W08
                                     |         A. tremblayi Comeau 1943 M68
                                     |--A. cingulatum FG06
                                     `--+--A. mexicanum FG06
                                        `--A. tigrinum (Green 1825) FG06, W08
                                             |--A. t. tigrinum W08
                                             `--A. t. mavortium (Baird 1850) W08

Ambystoma Tschudi 1838 FG06 [incl. Bathysiredon Sh86, Rhyacosiredon Sh86, Siredon Wagler 1830 Sh86, FG06; Soredontina]

Perennibranchia [Amphipneusta, Branchiata, Branchiuromalgaei, Diplopneumena, Dysmolgae, Externibranchia, Manentibranchia, Meantia, Perennibranchiata, Ramibranchia] FG06

Proteus Laurenti 1768 Sw86 [incl. Hypochthon Merrem 1820 FG06, Larvarius FG06; Hypochthonina]

Proteus anguinus Laurenti 1768 Sw86 [incl. Hypochthon carrarae Fitzinger 1850 N10, H. freyeri Fitzinger 1850 N10, H. haidingeri Fitzinger 1850 N10, H. laurentii Fitzinger 1850 N10, H. schreibersii Fitzinger 1850 N10, H. xanthostictus Fitzinger 1850 N10, H. zoisii Fitzinger 1850 N10]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[AA87] Avise, J. C., J. Arnold, R. M. Ball, E. Bermingham, T. Lamb, J. E. Neigel, C. A. Reeb & N. C. Saunders. 1987. Intraspecific phylogeography: The mitochondrial DNA bridge between population genetics and systematics. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 18: 489-522.

[BF88] Bishop, M. J., & A. E. Friday. 1988. Estimating the interrelationships of tetrapod groups on the basis of molecular sequence data. In The Phylogeny and Classification of the Tetrapods, vol. 1. Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds (M. J. Benton, ed.) pp. 33-58. Clarendon Press: Oxford.

[D56] Dawes, B. 1956. The Trematoda with special reference to British and other European forms. University Press: Cambridge.

[FG06] Frost, D. R., T. Grant, J. Faivovich, R. H. Bain, A. Haas, C. F. B. Haddad, R. O. de Sá, A. Channing, M. Wilkinson, S. C. Donnellan, C. J. Raxworthy, J. A. Campbell, B. L. Blotto, P. Moler, R. C. Drewes, R. A. Nussbaum, J. D. Lynch, D. M. Green & W. C. Wheeler. 2006. The amphibian tree of life. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 297: 1-370.

[GS01] Gao, K.-Q., & N. H. Shubin. 2001. Late Jurassic salamanders from northern China. Nature 410: 574-577.

[GS03] Gao, K.-Q., & N. H. Shubin. 2003. Earliest known crown-group salamanders. Nature 422: 424-428.

[GM01] Gayet, M., L. G. Marshall, T. Sempere, F. J. Meunier, H. Cappetta & J-C. Rage. 2001. Middle Maastrichtian vertebrates (fishes, amphibians, dinosaurs and other reptiles, mammals) from Pajcha Pata (Bolivia). Biostratigraphic, palaeoecologic and palaeobiostratigraphic implications. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 169: 39-68.

[HNM93] Hedges, S. B., R. A. Nussbaum & L. R. Maxson. 1993. Caecilian phylogeny and biogeography inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences of the 12S rRNA and 16S rRNA genes (Amphibia, Gymnophiona). Herpetological Monographs 7: 64-76.

[M68] Maslin, T. P. 1968. Taxonomic problems in parthenogenetic vertebrates. Systematic Zoology 17 (3): 219-231.

[M88] Milner, A. R. 1988. The relationships and origin of living amphibians. In The Phylogeny and Classification of the Tetrapods, vol. 1. Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds (M. J. Benton, ed.) pp. 59-102. Clarendon Press: Oxford.

[N10] Naish, D. 2010. Tetrapod Zoology: Book One. CFZ Press: Bideford (UK).

[RCQ03] Ruta, M., M. I. Coates & D. L. J. Quicke. 2003. Early tetrapod relationships revisited. Biological Reviews 78: 251-345.

[Sh86] Shaffer, H. B. 1986. Utility of quantitative genetic parameters in character weighting. Systematic Zoology 35 (1): 124-134.

[Sw86] Sweet, S. S. 1986. Caudata. In Stygofauna Mundi: A Faunistic, Distributional, and Ecological Synthesis of the World Fauna inhabiting Subterranean Waters (including the Marine Interstitial) (L. Botosaneanu, ed.) pp. 734-740. E. J. Brill / Dr. W. Backhuys: Leiden.

[W08] Warburg, M. R. 2008. Temporal variations in body dimensions followed for 25 years in a breeding population of adult salamanders, with a partial review on other Urodela (Amphibia, Urodela, Salamandridae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 88 (1): 81-101.

[W-CL06] Watkins-Colwell, G. J., T. A. Leenders, B. T. Roach, D. J. Drew, G. Dancho & J. Yuckienuz. 2006. New distribution records for amphibians and reptiles in Connecticut, with notes on the status of an introduced species. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History 47 (1-2): 47-62.

[ZBH03] Zhou, Z., P. M. Barrett & J. Hilton. 2003. An exceptionally preserved Lower Cretaceous ecosystem. Nature 421: 807-814.

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