Pachytriton brevipes (Sauvage, 1876)
Paddle-Tailed Newt, Black-spotted Stout Newt; Pachytriton tachete
|Species Description: Wu Y., Murphy R. W. 2015 Concordant species delimitation from multiple independent evidence: A case study with the Pachytriton brevipes complex (Caudata: Salamandridae)|
Taxonomic Notes: The genera Pachytriton and Paramesotriton have had a confused taxonomic history, complicated by the fact that a number of these salamanders have long been in the pet trade, identified as Paddletailed and Warty Newts, respectively. In 1985 Frost (Amphibian Species of the World) recognized only one Pachytriton, P. brevipes, and 5 Paramesotriton. At present 8 species of Pachytriton and 13 species of Paramesotriton are recognized. The pet trade long identified the following biological entities: Phenotypes Pachytriton A, B, C and D, none of them assignable to P. brevipes. Eventually Pachytriton labiatus was associated with phenotype A, but the other phenotypes were of uncertain taxonomy. In 2011 Nishikawa et al. discovered that the nomen labiatus belongs to a biological entity that had been recently named Paramesotriton ermizhaoi, and Phenotype A was assigned to Pachytriton granulosus (which had been in the synonymy of other taxa). Raffaelli (Les Urodeles de Monde, 2nd Ed 2013) thinks that Phenotypes A are taxonomically heterogenous, and include in addition to Pachytriton granulosus, Pachytriton feii, Pachytriton moi and Pachytriton inexpectatus; Phenotype B is thought to be Pachytriton changi (and we think also Pachytriton xanthospilos); Phenotype C is thought to be Paramesotriton labiatus; Phenotype D is thought to be Paramesotriton archospotus. No members of the genus Paramesotriton (Warty Newts) should be called Paddletailed newts; that name should refer only to Pachytriton (which are also known as Stout Newts). For formal taxonomic history see Amphibian Species of the World website.
© 2016 Axel Hernandez (1 of 4)
Animals are dark brown to light yellow on the dorsal side in life. Ventral color is lighter to even bright orange. Numerous black dots are scattered around the body and tail, and intensify on the dorsum (Fei et al. 2006). When preserved in alcohol, the background color becomes palish brown on top and ivory brown below (Chang 1936). The size and density of black dots varies intraspecifically. Some newts lack black dots on the ventral side, and some are entirely spotless (Fei et al. 2006). During the breeding season, males develop a few white spots near the tip of the tail.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: China
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Breeding season is from May and lasts until August. Males have a swollen cloaca with protruded papillae, and a few whitish spots develop near the tip of the tail. Fertilization is internal through the delivery of spermatophores. Females lay 30 to 60 single eggs attached to the lower surface of rocks in the stream (Fei et al. 2006). Eggs are milky white and form a compact clutch. The ovum is around 4.5 mm in diameter and the egg attains 7.5 mm if jelly capsules are included (Fei et al. 2006). Since Pachytriton labiatus females vigorously guard the eggs, P. brevipes could have maternal care as well. Eggs hatch as free-living larvae. Both females and males are territorial and show aggression to intruders.
The animal feeds on aquatic arthropods and tadpoles of other amphibians. Insects that fall into the water are likely to be found in the stomach as well.
Trends and Threats
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Chang, M. L. Y. (1936). Contribution à l'étude morphologique, biologique et systèmatique des amphibiens urodèles de la Chine. Librairie Picart, Paris.
Fei, L., Hu, S., Ye, C., and Huang, Y. (2006). Fauna Sinica, Amphibia, Vol. 1. Science Press, Beijing (in Chinese).
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2006. Global Amphibian Assessment: Pachytriton brevipes. www.globalamphibians.org. Accessed on 5 May 2008.
Pope, C. H. (1931). ''Notes on amphibians from Fukien, Hainan, and other parts of China.'' Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 61, 397-611.
Sauvage, H. E. (1876). ''Sur quelques Batraciens de la Chine.'' L. Inst. (N. S.)., Paris, 4, 274-275.
Scholz, K. P. (1998). ''Über eine rauhhäutige Pachytriton-Art.'' Salamandra, 34, 375-380.
Thiesmeier, B., and Hornberg, C. (1997). ''Paarung, Fortpflanzung and Larvalentwicklung von Pachytriton sp. (Pachytriton A) nebst Bemerkungen zur Taxonomie der Gattung.'' Salamandra, 33, 97-110.
Thiesmeier, B., and Hornberg, C. (2003). ''The riddle of the Chinese newt, Pachytriton.'' Reptilia, The European Herp Magazine, 30, 43-50.
Özeti, N., and Wake, D. B. (1969). ''The morphology and evolution of the tongue and associated structures in salamanders and newts (family Salamandridae).'' Copeia, 1969, 91-123.
Originally submitted by: Yunke Wu (first posted 2008-05-30)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2008-06-25)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Pachytriton brevipes: Paddle-Tailed Newt <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/4267> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 20, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 20 Mar 2023.
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