Chinese populations of the endangered Siberian salamander Ranodon sibiricus are reported to have diverged only about 120 years ago, and to have the lowest genetic diversity of any amphibian. However, these conclusions require verification, as the main range of the species is in Kazakhstan. Moreover, the generation time used for estimating divergence time has a weak ground. In order to clarify these problems, we investigated the molecular phylogenetic relationship and historical demography of the species covering its whole distribution range using the mitochondrial DNA region reported for Chinese population (1072 bp sequences of the control region), while conducting skeletochronological analysis to estimate accurate generation time. As a result, the range expansion was estimated at 88,000-50,000 YA, based on the generation time of 6-10 years. Degree of intraspecific genetic differentiation is actually very small, but, as a single species, is not so small as had been reported for Chinese population alone.
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