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Naturalist Identifies 3 New Salamander Species

Tallahassee naturalist and Florida State University adjunct Professor Bruce Means is celebrating his latest discovery, three new species of salamanders inhabiting the Gulf Coastal Plain.

Two of them, the Hillis’s Dwarf Salamander and the Bog Dwarf Salamander, occur only in the western Florida panhandle. Means says the docile, two-inch long creatures like to hunt for insects on lime-green patches of Sphagnum moss.

“They’re sort of yellowish, olive drab, with some black, longitudinal streaking on the back, which blends them well with leaf litter”, said Means.

Means and his colleagues used DNA sampling to confirm their discoveries. Their findings are detailed in a pair of research papers in Herpetological Monographs.

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