TULSA — A salamander first discovered by a University of Tulsa doctoral student in 2011 is being hailed as a new species in an international journal for animal taxonomy.
Doctoral student Michael Steffen and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission herpetologist Kelly Irwin discovered the new species in May 2011 while studying genetic diversity of other salamanders in Lake Catherine State Park near Hot Springs.
The university said the latest issue of Zootaxa will feature the paper and provide details on the Ouachita Streambed Salamander. The school said the amphibian is one of the most "genetically distinct" species of salamander to be identified in the United States within the past 70 years.
This species currently has the smallest known range of any other amphibian in the country.