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Bianchis cave salamander, Speleomantes ambrosii bianchii n ssp Amphibia, Caudata, Plethodontidae

, : Bianchis cave salamander, Speleomantes ambrosii bianchii n ssp Amphibia, Caudata, Plethodontidae. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale "Giacomo Doria": 97: 59-77

The Authors describe Bianchi's Cave Salamander, Speleomantes ambrosii bianchii n. ssp., endemic to the Province of Massa-Carrara (NW Tuscany; central Italy), East of the Magra River. The new subspecies differs from the nominate one, S. ambrosii ambrosii, occurring West of the Magra River in the Province of La Spezia (E Liguria), especially from a genetic point of view. A research on 33 enzyme loci, analysed by means of multilocus allozyme electrophoresis, showed that the two subspecies are genetically completely differentiated at four diagnostic loci; nevertheless, S. ambrosii bianchii may be usually distinguished from the parapatric S. ambrosii ambrosii by its dorsal pattern. The lack of gene exchange between the two taxa seems to be related to the extrinsic geographic barriers represented by the Magra River and, probably, by unfavourable ecological conditions in the upper course of the river, as suggested by the likely absence of the genus Speleomantes from Pontremoli's area East of the Magra River.


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