Vomerine teeth in continuous series lying parallel anteriorly and diverging
posteriorly. Head bluntly oval. Crown of head flattened, depressed in frontal
and interorbital areas. Sides of head with bony and glandular areas elevated
to level of upper eyelid. From above, the body has two series of rounded
knob-like tubercles. Tail compressed laterally, with a well-developed fin fold.
Skin of body and tail finely granular. From above, dark-brown and glands on
sides of neck and dorso-lateral region lighter brown. The parotoids, caudal
fin fold, and warts light, from light-brown to red-orange. Tail usually
lighter than body. Chin, belly and sides nearly black.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Viet Nam
The species is distributed in the hills and mountains of the Himalayan system
in northeastern India (Sikkim and Darjeeling Districts), Bhotan, eastern Nepal,
southern China (Yunnan Province), through northern Burma and northern Thailand
to northern Vietnam. The species lives in various habitats, mainly in sites
where mountain forests exist or previously existed, such as rice fields,
tea gardens, meadows covering the shores of mountain ponds and lakes,
forest edges, etc. Reproduction takes place in different water sources, from
small rain puddles to permanent lakes.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Although it is not usually common, its local abundance may be high, from 10 to
20 individuals per few acres of a lake. Reproduction starts soon after the
newt emerges from hibernacula. In a large part of its range, reproduction
coincides with the start of the monsoon season (late March to early April).
Spawning occurs between March and May, and may continue throughout the rainy
season (as late as September). In October, adults leave the water bodies, and
courtship takes place during day and night. Eggs are laid onto submerged
vegetation and on the bottom, rarely outside water. The clutch contains 26-60
eggs. Female parental care has been observed. Metamorphosis occurs between
summer and autumn. Larvae are known to overwinter. The age of sexual
maturation is around 3-5 years, and maximum longevity is 11 years. Larvae feed
mainly on aquatic insects, and adults feed on insects, earthworms, etc.
Predation of amphibian eggs and larvae, including cannibalism, is known.
Trends and Threats
No global or regional changes in the populations of T. verrucosus are
known. However, in some places, such anthropogenic influences as planting of
the exotic conifer Cryptomeria japonica, introduction
of the Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio), and destruction and pollution of
natural ponds and lakes have had negative consequences.
Relation to Humans
This salamander occurs in agricultural lands, even in the neighborhood of human
settlements, which creates a threat for its populations.
Recently it has been suggested that Tylototriton shanjing is a synonym for T. verrucosus, based on similarity in Cyt b (Zhang et al. 2007). However, only a single sample of T. verrucosus was analyzed, from China, and compared to thirty-nine samples of T. shanjing. No samples of T. verrucosus were analyzed from other parts of the range. In addition, T. shanjing was shown to breed true in captivity (Ziegler et al. 2008). Thus the decision to place T. shanjing in synonymy with T. verrucosus must be considered premature until further analysis is undertaken with more samples of T. verrucosus, from more locations. (For an English translation of Zhang et al., contact Jennifer Macke at jpmackeATcomcast.net)
Annandale, N. (1908). ''Breeding habits of Tylototriton verrucosus.'' Records of the Indian Museum, 2, 305-306.
Chaudhuri, S.K. (1966). ''Studies on Tylototriton verrucosus (Himalayan Newt) found in Darjeeling.'' Journal of the Bengal Natural History Society, 35(1), 32-36.
Dasgupta, R. (1984). ''Parental care in the Himalayan Newt.'' Journal of the Bengal Natural History Society, 3(2).
Dasgupta, R. (1990). ''Distribution and conservation problems of the Himalayan Newt (Tylototriton verrucosus) in the Darjeeling Himalayas.'' Hamadryad, 15(1), 13-15.
Dutta, S.K. (1990). Amphibians of India and Sri Lanka (Checklist and Bibliography). Odyssey Publishing House, Bhubaneswar.
Fei, L. (1999). Atlas of Amphibians of China. Henan Publishing House of Science and Technology, Zhengzhou.
Kuzmin, S.L., Dasgupta, R. and Smirina, E.M. (1994). ''Ecology of the Himalayan newt (Tylototriton verrucosus) in Darjeeling Himalayas,India.'' Russian Journal of Herpetology, 1(1), 69-76.
Shrestha, T.K. (1989). ''Ecological aspects of the life-history of Himalayan Newt Tylototriton verrucosus (Anderson) with reference to conservation and management.'' Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 86(3), 333-338.
Taylor, E.H. (1962). ''The amphibian fauna of Thailand.'' University of Kansas Scientific Bulletin, 43(8), 265-599.
Thorn, Robert (1968). Les Salamandres d'Europe, d'Asie et d'Afrique du nord. Lechevalier, Paris.
Ye, C., Fei, L., and Hu, S. Q. (1993). Rare and Economic Amphibians of China. Sichuan Publishing House of Science and Technology, Chengdu.
Zhang, M., Rao, D., Yu, G., and Yang, J. (2007). ''The validity of Red Knobby Newt (Tylototriton shanjing) species status based on mitochondrial Cyt b gene.'' Zoological Research, 28(4), 430-436.
Zhao, E. and Adler, K. (1993). Herpetology of China. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Oxford, Ohio.
Zhao, E. and Zhao, H. (1994). Chinese Herpetological Literature: Catalogue and Indices. Chengdu University of Science and Technology, Chengdu.
Ziegler, T., Hartmann, T., Van der Straeten, K., Karbe, D., and Böhme, W. (2008). ''Captive breeding and larval morphology of Tylototriton shanjing Nussbaum, Brodie and Yang, 1995, with an updated key of the genus Tylototriton (Amphibia: Salamandridae).'' Der Zoologische Garten, 77, 246-260.
Written by Sergius L. Kuzmin (ipe51 AT yahoo.com), Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow
First submitted 1999-11-10
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2009-05-06)
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