The Salamanders of South America
by Brame Arden and David Wake
Publisher: Contibutions in Science, Los Angeles County Museum.
Edition: Number 69, 1963.
Salamander is a common name for most members of the tailed AMPHIBIA (order Caudata). South American salamanders are the classical exception to the idea that salamanders are an exclusively north-temperate group, for only in the neotropicsdo they penetrate south of the equator. Biologists have always been intrigued with organisms living under novel or unusual conditions, or in unexpected regions, and it is surprising that South American salamanders virtually have been ignored for so long. When we initiated this study we were under the impression, along with most herpetologists, that the South American salamander
fauna was small and insignificant. As we began to accumulate the widely scattered preserved material we discovered that the fauna, to the contrary, was varied and of considerable systematic and biogeographic importance. We have had the unique opportunity of examining and directly comparing virtually all specimens collected from the South American continent, and can now present a comprehensive review of the South American salamander fauna, its evolutionary relationships, and its origins.