A neotenic salamander for 2014

Eurycea subfluvicola (photo above by Michael Steffen) is a salamander found in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas (USA) and described in a recent paper.

The species had not previously been recognised, since it resembles the closely related Eurycea multiplicata. One key difference is that, like some other salamanders, the newly discovered species is neotenic (paedomorphic) – it always remains in what looks like a larval stage (with gills), and never fully matures into an adult form. As the song says, it remains “forever young.”

See National Geographic for further details and for more pictures.