Males up to 75, females up to 94mm total length. Tail length approximately equal to snout-vent length. Superficially similar to T. vulgaris or T. helveticus. Paratoids indistinct. Glandular ridges alongside the back give the newt a square-backed appearance. The skin is dry and granular during the terrestrial phase. Breeding dress is much less elaborate than in other Triturus species. Breeding animals lack a dorsal crest, but have a low, smooth crest along the tail, which is slightly higher in males. Lacks a stripe across the eye. Males also develop a larger protuberance at the tail tip (0.5-2mm) than females (0.5mm). The brownish, yellow or olive back is covered with a dark spotting pattern, which may be coarser in males. The orange-yellow venter is separated from the dark dorsal side by two bright whitish lateral stripes. The spotting pattern of the back can continue across the lateral bands onto the venter. Males possess a bright spot at the tail-tip.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Portugal, Spain
T. boscai is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula. It is absent from the eastern and north-eastern parts of the peninsula. In Spain, it is distributed throughout the following regions: Galicia, Asturias, León Zamora, Salamanca and as far as Guadarrama and Toledo Mountains. T. boscai is also documented in Estremadura, Toledo, Ciudad Real and western Andalucia. Its easternmost limit is the region of Córdoba. In Portugal, T. boscai is found from the north to the south. In the south it is not as common and has been found in mountain areas. In the north it is sympatric with T. marmoratus, T. helveticus, Chioglossa lusitanica and Salamandra salamandra. T. boscai is more aquatic in its habits than T. marmoratus and T. helveticus. It can be found on peat moss, in running water or in deep still waters. However, it prefers small shallow ponds with vegetation. During the terrestrial stage, the animals can be found near ponds, hiding in humid and shady places, such as under roots, stones, moss and trees. It occurs from sea level up to 1500 m a.s.l. in Portugal, Serra do Gerês, Serra da Estrela, and to about 1800 m in Galicia, Spain (Gasc 1997). Noellert and Noellert (1992), however, report that the species occurs up to 1940 m in the Serra da Estrela.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The reproductive period extends from the end of November until July. The courtship takes place in water. The male positions himself in front of the female and fans water towards the female. This fanning behaviour is thought to transmit male odors to the female. This behaviour can be repeatedly interrupted by a wiggeling of the tail tip or a stance in which the male presents its cloaca by turning it toward the female and raising his tail vertically, then slowly moving it from side to side. The fanning gets faster and more powerfull, ans the male occasionally hitts the female's head with his tail. The male then slowly walks away from the female, continuing the fanning movements with his tail. The female follows and induces the male to deposit a spermatophore by touching his tail with her head. The pair then walks a bit forther until the male blocks the female's path and pushes her back over the spermatophore with his tail. A single female can produce 100-240 eggs each season. The eggs are about 2 mm across and the gelatinous envelope is somewhat oval. They are laid individually on water plants. Larvae were observed in the province of Sevilla from the end of March until June. Larvae at higher elevations may spend the winter in the water and metamorphose the next spring/summer. Larvae are up to 45 mm total length before metamorphosis, and about 30-35 mm after metamorphosis. Although they sometimes spend the entire year in the water, adults usually leave the water at the end of May and spend the summer on land. They may be active during day and night during the breeding season, then switching to nocturnal activity during the terrestrial phase. The diet consists of invertebrates of up to 9.7 mm for adults. The larvae usually eat Daphnia, and Diptera larvae (Noellert and Noellert 1992).
Trends and Threats
T. boscai is threatened in some breedings waters in Spain. Its exact status in these areas is unknown (Noellert and Noellert 1992). It is, however, protected by law in Spain. In Portugal, it is more or less common and considered not endangered (Gasc 1997).
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 2000-01-14
Edited by Sean Schoville (1/18/00) (2002-05-25)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2002 Lissotriton boscai: Bosca's newt <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/4293> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jan 22, 2020.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2020. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 22 Jan 2020.
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