His hard work and discomfort paid off. When Elias returned to Berkeley he left some of his specimens to soak in water before preserving them. It was here that Wake happened upon them, and he was astonished. Elias recalls, "both [what would later be named] the Long-limbed Salamander and Finca Chiblac Salamander were in that collection and turned out to be new genera that were significant missing links in the Neotropical lungless salamander radiation. Word traveled to me by rumor in the next day or two and I suddenly discovered that I had found something extraordinary".
Elias launched further expeditions to the Cuchumatanes the following two summers, bringing Jackson with him. Rain-soaked weeks spent crashing through mist-shrouded forest and lifting rotting logs resulted in the discovery of Jackson's Climbing Salamander, named by Elias in honor of his friend. But over months of fieldwork only two individuals of the species were ever found, and neither Elias or Jackson could have predicted that, a quarter of a century later, none of the three salamanders that they had discovered would have been seen again.
It was not until 2009, during an expedition led by local biologist Carlos Vasquez and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley, that the Finca Chiblac Salamander was rediscovered, an incredible 32 years after it was last seen. The following year the Long-Limbed Salamander also re-appeared. Still missing, however, was Jackson's salamander, which climbed its way into the top ten "Most Wanted" amphibians in the world during the Search for Lost Frogs campaign in 2010.
Finca Chiblac Salamander, Bradytriton silus © Robin Moore