Marbled Newt, marmormolch, triton marbré, tritón jaspeado, tritão-marmorado, tritão-verde, tritó verd, marmorsalamander, marmorvesilik, uhandre marmolairea, lagartixa d'agua, tritone marmorato, tritone marmorizzato, marmersalamander, traszka marmurkowana
© 1986 Max Sparreboom (1 of 81)
During the aquatic phase, the male develops a large dorsal and caudal crest. This crest shows a vertical black and green striping pattern and is not serrated, but is undulated laterally. Females do not develop a dorsal crest but instead have a permanent bright orange vertebral stripe. The tail does develop a crest in females, but this is much lower than that of the males. Males have a bright light lateral stripe along the tail and a stronger developed cloaca. During the terrestrial stage the skin gets a velvet-like texture and becomes water-repellant, and the green pattern becomes brighter. The dorsal and caudal crests diminish greatly, although they do not disappear entirely in the males (Noellert and Noellert 1992)
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: France, Portugal, Spain. Introduced: Netherlands.
Although this species is usually associated with well-vegetated ponds and woodlands, the species also occurs in more open areas like heathens and agricultural landscapes. Where it occurs sympatrically with T. cristatus it seems to prefer smaller and more vegetated habitats, while T. cristatus occupies more open areas. In the terrestrial phase it is found under logs and rocks, as well as in man-made structures like stone walls (Noellert and Noellert 1992).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
A female can produce as many as 200-380 eggs with a diameter of 2mm. Each egg is individually attached to water plants. Larval development is also dependent on the altitudinal and latitudinal distribution. In the northwestern part of the distribution, metamorphosis takes place between the beginning of August and the end of September, while in the Spanish reservation of Doñana larvae could be found between December and May. Larvae grow op to 70-90mm in total length. Sexual maturity is reached at an age of about 5 years. Longevity in the wild is up to 15 years, while in captivity a specimen lived for 25 years.
During the aquatic phase the animals are mostly diurnal, while activity is nocturnal during the terrestrial phase. In the northern parts of its distribution, hibernation usually occurs under water. In the southern parts of the distribution, hibernation does not occur, but the animals spend the dry summer period on humid places on land.
The diet includes various invertebrates, but can also include larvae of T. boscai or larvae of its own species.
When threatened the tail is erected and swayed from side to side. This display is usually accompanied by an elevation of the rear trunk (Noellert and Noellert 1992).
Trends and Threats
The species is considered not in danger in Spain and Portugal. Nevertheless, loss and change of habitats are serious threats in the whole area, caused by agricultural intensification and loss and pollution of fresh water. T. m. pygmaeus is especially threatened by the growing exploitation of ground water (Gasc 1997). Populations that interbreed with T. cristatus should be monitored more carefully, because the reduced viability of the hybrids reduces the reproductive capacity of each species (Noellert and Noellert 1992).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
Griffiths, R.A. (1996). Newts and Salamanders of Europe. T. and A. D. Poyser, London.
Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
Stumpel-Rieks, S. E. (1992). Nomina Herpetofaunae Europaeae. AULA-Verlag, Wiesbaden.
Written by Arie van der Meijden (amphibia AT arievandermeijden.nl), Research associate, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC Berkeley
First submitted 2000-01-26
Edited by Arie van der Meijden (2017-07-10)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2017 Triturus marmoratus: Marbled Newt <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/4300> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 25, 2020.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2020. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 25 May 2020.
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