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Triturus dobrogicus
Danube Crested Newt
Subgenus: Triturus
family: Salamandridae
subfamily: Pleurodelinae

© 2006 Horia Bogdan (1 of 13)

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Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Near Threatened (NT)
See IUCN account.
CITES No CITES Listing
Other International Status Data Deficient
National Status None
Regional Status Rare, in many sites Vulnerable

   

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Description
Very similar to the Great Crested Newt (Triturus cristatus), but the body is more slender and elongated, especially in females (Wolterstorff Index 34-49%), the head is narrower, the extremities shorter, the dorsal coloration lighter and dark spots more in contrast, the black spots on the belly fused forming larger spots and bands, and the white points on body sides rare or absent. Sexual dimorphism is similar to that of the Great Crested Newt. Dorsal crest in breeding males may extend to the front of the head.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Republic of, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Ukraine

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This newt inhabits valleys within the Danube River system. The range represents two main areas to the west of the Black Sea: Moldavia (lower reaches of the Prut River in Kagul District), Romania and Ukraine (Danube River delta and Transcarpathian Plain); eastern Austria, Hungary, southern Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia and northern Croatia. It also extends a short distance into Germany, within Bavaria (P. Janzen, pers. comm.).

The Danube Crested Newt lives in plain habitats with mixed deciduous forests and groves, bushlands, flooded meadows and swamps, including those in river valleys overgrown with large herbaceous and brush vegetation. The species also occurs in villages and agricultural landscapes. It reproduces in small ponds with stagnant water, oxbows, channels, ditches and flooded quarries.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Triturus dobrogicus is not rare in the Danube River delta, but in other areas it is not common. Adult population density varies significantly among habitats. In the Transcarpathian Plain, one specimen sometimes occurs in 1-50 m2 of water.

In different parts of the range, migrations to breeding sites start from mid-February through April; sometimes a second migration to water occurs in autumn. Embryonic and larval development take about 2-2.5 months; metamorphosis has been recorded in July - early September and later. Adult and subadult individuals are known to stay in water for a long time, upto and beyond 6 months. Sometimes they do not leave the water before the first frosts: individuals frozen in ice were recorded from the Transcarpathian Plain. In captivity, metamorphosis and appearance of male secondary sex characters may occur in water.

Trends and Threats
Triturus dobrogicus is a declining species, mainly due to habitat loss.

Relation to Humans
Although the Danube Crested Newt often occurs in human neighborhoods, anthropogenic destruction of habitat leads to decline and extinction of this species in many sites. For example, building of dams in the Danube River, conversion of habitats into arable lands, eutrophication of breeding water bodies, etc., lead to extinction of some populations.

References
 

Arntzen, J. W., Bugter, R. J. F., Cogalniceanu, D. and Wallis, G. P. (1997). ''The distribution and conservation status of the Danube Crested Newt, Triturus dobrogicus.'' Amphibia-Reptilia, 18, 133-142.  

Griffiths, R.A. (1996). Newts and Salamanders of Europe. T. and A. D. Poyser, London.  

Kuzmin, S. L. (1995). Die Amphibien Russlands und angrenzender Gebiete. Westarp Wissenschaften, Magdeburg.  

Kuzmin, S. L. (1999). The Amphibians of the Former Soviet Union. Pensoft, Sofia-Moscow.  

Litvinchuk, S. N., Rosanov, J. M. and Borkin, L. J. (1997). ''A contact zone between the newts Triturus cristatus and Triturus dobrogicus in the Ukrainian Transcarpathians: distribution and genome size variation.'' Herpetologia Bonnensis. W. Böhme, W. Bischoff, and T. Ziegler, eds., SEH, Bonn, 229-235.  

Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.  

Szczerbak, N. N. and Szczerban, M. I. (1980). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchiesya Ukrainskikh Karpat [Amphibians and Reptiles of Ukrainian Carpathians]. Naukova Dumka, Kiev.



Written by Sergius L. Kuzmin (ipe51 AT yahoo.com), Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow
First submitted 1999-10-06
Edited by Sean Schoville (1/18/00 (2008-03-12)



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Citation: AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. 2014. Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. Available: http://amphibiaweb.org/. (Accessed: Oct 22, 2014).

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