An investigation recording all salamanders which can and cannot regenerate a lens from the dorsal iris


  • Aided by grant NB-03444 from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness of the National Institutes of Health, U. S. Public Health Service.


A brief description of lens regeneration is given of all the 21 salamanders which can regenerate a lens from the dorsal iris after lentectomy. Illustrations of all but one are shown, 18 of which are from eyes of species which were lentectomized by the author. Eleven species of salamanders are American, eight are European and two are Japanese. Table 1 lists all of the 21 species of salamanders representing different genera which regenerate a lens and all of the eight species, also of different genera, which fail to regenerate a lens.

All members of the genus Triturus so far examined regenerate a lens and all of the Amblystomidae which have been tested do not. One species of the genus Eurycea regenerates a lens while another in the same genus does not. It is suggested that hybridization might be attempted between two similar closely related species for an examination of the ability of lens regeneration in the offspring.

Since there are more species of salamanders distributed over the American continent than in any other part of the world there is an unique opportunity to discover how widespread this phenomenon is for lens regeneration from the dorsal iris. Methods (table 1) and techniques are described for making serial sections of eyes.