2014 Volume 76 Issue 2 Pages 159-167
Trunk musculature in Urodela species varies by habitat. In this study, trunk musculature was examined in five species of adult salamanders representing three different habitats: aquatic species, Amphiuma tridactylum and Necturus maculosus; semi-aquatic species, Cynops pyrrhogaster; terrestrial species, Hynobius nigrescens and Ambystoma tigrinum. More terrestrial species have heavier dorsal and ventral trunk muscles than more aquatic forms. By contrast, the lateral hypaxial musculature was stronger in more aquatic species. The number of layers of lateral hypaxial musculature varied among Urodela species and did not clearly correlate with their habitats. The M. rectus abdominis was separated from the lateral hypaxial musculature in both terrestrial and semi-aquatic species. In aquatic species, M. rectus abdominis was not separated from lateral hypaxial musculature. Lateral hypaxial musculature differed in thickness among species and was relatively thinner in terrestrial species. In more terrestrial species, dorsal muscles may be used for stabilization and ventral flexing against gravity. Ventral muscle may be used in preventing dorsally concave curvature of the trunk by dorsal muscles and by weight. The lengthy trunk supported by limbs needs muscular forces along the ventral contour line in more terrestrial species. And, the locomotion on well-developed limbs seems to lead to a decrease of the lateral hypaxial musculature.