A morphologically distinct cavernicolous salamander Proteus anguinus from southeastern Slovenia (Bela Krajina) is described as P. a. parkelj ssp. n. It differs from P. a. anguinus in a dark pigmentation, fully developed eyes, a skull with broader and shorter bones and fewer teeth, a voluminous jaw musculature that gives the head a bulky appearance, a proportionally longer trunk with a higher number of vertebrae, shorter extremities, and a shorter tail. Most of these traits are considered to be plesiomorphic character states. An allozyme analysis over 40 loci has shown the new dark pigmented taxon to be genetically similar to a white and troglomorphic neighbouring population from Stična (DNei = 0.23). Both populations in turn are genetically dissimilar to a geographically more distant population from Postojna (DNei = 0.49). The observed level of genetic differentiation suggests that western and southeastern Slovenian populations form separate lineages since the uppermost Miocene but conservatively hitherto only a single species is recognised. The new taxon is only known from a small area and may be rare. P. a. parkelj now under strict legal protection, is threatened by industrial pollution.

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Naturalis journals & series

Sket, B., & Arntzen, J. (1994). A black, non-troglomorphic amphibian from the karst of Slovenia: Proteus anguinus parkelj n. ssp. (Urodela: Proteidae). Bijdragen tot de dierkunde, 64(1), 33–53.