The alpine newt (
1 Description 2 Life and habitat 3 Distribution 4 Taxonomy 5 References 6 External links
Male alpine newt in water phase
During the mating season early in the year, the males exhibit
dark-blue colouring on their backs; their flanks have
white-black-spotted stripes below sky-blue stripes, and their bellies
are bright orange. The females, in water camouflage, are mottled brown
and have some weak spotting on their backs. The biggest of the males
can reach up to 9 cm, and the females up to 12 cm in length.
After the mating season, they return their original colour of mottled
Life and habitat
Alpine newts typically inhabit forests with good access to water in
hilly to mountainous regions. They are mostly absent in forest-poor
areas. They populate well in thick deciduous forests, as well as
parkland and natural gardens. Outside the spawning season, Alpine
newts live terrestrially. During the day it then stays in all kinds of
undergrowth. After the adults come out of winter dormancy, they
migrate to their spawning pools (forest pools, artificial pools) and
live the mating season in cool water.
Alpine newts were originally confined to Central Europe and
mountainous Southern Europe, as well as having isolated populations
on the northern
Female alpine newt
The alpine newt was formerly placed within the genus Triturus. García-París et al. divided the genus Triturus, placing the alpine newt into its own genus Mesotriton. Later, Mesotriton was postulated to be a junior synonym of Ichthyosaura. Ten subspecies of the alpine newt are recognized (some only with neotenic forms):
I. a. alpestris (Laurenti, 1768) alpine newt I. a. apuanus (Gray, 1850) Italian alpine newt I. a. cyreni (Mertens & Muller, 1940) Spanish alpine newt I. a. inexpectatus (Dubois & Breuil, 1983) Calabrian alpine newt I. a. lacusnigri (Dely, 1960) Yugoslavian alpine newt I. a. montenegrinus (Radovanovic, 1951) Montenegran alpine newt I. a. piperianus (Radovanovic, 1961) I. a. reiseri (Schreiber, 1912) Bosnian alpine newt I. a. serdarus (Radovanovic, 1961) I. a. veluchiensis (Wolterstorff, 1935) Greek alpine newt
I. alpestris is the only living species of the genus Ichthyosaura, though one extinct species, I. randeckensis, has also been referred to this genus. References
^ a b c Jan Willem Arntzen; Mathieu Denoël; Sergius Kuzmin; et al.
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v t e
Genera of newts (Pleurodelinae)
Crocodile newts (Tylototriton)
Fire belly newts
Eastern newts (Notophthalmus) Pacific newts (Taricha)
Europe, North Africa and West Asia
Alpine newts (Ichthyosaura) Banded newts (Ommatotriton) Crested and marbled newts (Triturus) European brook newts (Calotriton) European mountain newts (Euproctus) Ribbed newts (Pleurodeles) Small-bodied newts (Lissotriton) Spotted newts (Neurergus)
† Fossil genera
Archaeotriton Brachycormus Carpathotriton Chelotriton Koalliella Palaeopleurodeles
Wd: Q282715 EoL: 330758 GBIF: 2431783 iNaturalist: 135104 ITIS: 775917 IUCN: