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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the key themes discussed in the book, which uses the term 'salamander' to refer to all species in the family Salamandridae. Currently 652 salamander species are recognised according to Amphibian Species of the World. Salamanders vary in length between 3 cm and 150 cm. By far the majority of species belong to the family of lungless salamanders. These are found mainly in North, Central and South America, but eight species occur in Europe: the European cave salamanders of the genera Speleomantes and Atylodes. Much to the surprise of the scientific world, a new plethodontid salamander was discovered in South Korea in 2005 and named Karsenia koreana. The family Salamandridae is a group of salamanders that occurs mainly in Europe and Asia comprising just over 100 species, as well as two American newt genera, Taricha and Notophthalmus.

Keywords: Asia; Europe; Northern Africa; Notophthalmus; salamander; South America; Taricha



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