Anatolian Crested Newt
Species Description: Wielstra B, Arntzen JW 2016 Description of a new species of crested newt, previously subsumed in Triturus ivanbureschi (Amphibia: Caudata: Salamandridae). Zootaxa 4109: 73-80.
© 2017 Henk Wallays (1 of 5)
Triturus anatolicus is a relatively robust crested newt. The length of its head is wider than that of its neck. Measured from the snout to the posterior side of the vent, the males range from 50 - 63 mm, and the females range from 56 - 65 mm. Measured from the snout to the anterior side of the vent, the males range from 58 - 71 mm, and the females range from 60 - 70 mm. The total length of the newt ranged from 100 - 133 mm. Triturus anatolicus possess four fully developed fingers and five fully developed toes. Relative right finger lengths of the holotype increases in order of 4, 1, 3, 2. However, relative left finger increases in order of 1, 4, 2, 3. Varying length in right and left fingers suggest that fingers 3 and 4 were regenerated. Relative toe length increases in order 1, 5, 2, 4, 3. The dorsal and lateral sides as well as the tail base and throat are rough, while the tail and venter are smooth. Although present, the gular fold is not noticeable. The cloaca in males is swollen with papillae bordering the slit. The males have a denticulated crest runs along spine, indented over the legs and cloaca. Females don’t have denticulated fin, have a less pronounced dorsal fin, and a non-swollen cloaca. The tail is laterally compressed with visible dorsal fin and less visible ventral fin. Most T. anatolicus have 13 rib-bearing pre-sacral vertebrae. However, 12 were found one specimen (Wielstra and Arntzen 2016).
Through mtDNA sequencing, it has been found that T. anatolicus and T. ivanbureschi are cryptic species that have recently split. Even though the two species are morphologically identical, they are differentiated through their location and genetics. The western species, whose boundary extends from the southeastern region of the Balkan Peninsula to the western Turkey is referred to as T. ivanbureschi sensu sticto, or simply as T. Ivanbureschi. The eastern species, which is located in northern Turkey is referred to as T. anatolicus. Triturus anatolicus shares characteristics with the T. crisatus superspecies. Most specifically the denticulated crest in males, the dark brown dorsal coloration and an orange ventral side spotted black. From these characters, they are assigned to the genus Triturus. This was confirmed through mtDNA sequencing. Currently, no morphological features are known to distinguish T. ivanbureschi, T. anatolicus, and T. karelinii (Wielstra and Arntzen 2016).
Triturus anatolicus in life, exhibit a brownish-blackish coloration on the dorsolateral side, with scattered black spots. The lateral side of the tail, along the caudal vertebrae, displays bluish-white streaking. Males have a deep-orange ventral side and throat, with small angular spotting. The females have a dark yellow ventral side and throat, with small angular spotting. Spots decrease in size and increase density as they move up the belly to the throat. Through the preservation process, coloration is slightly faded (Wielstra and Arntzen 2016).
In general, the morphology of the paratypes resembles that of the holotype. As compared to male T. anatolicus, the females lack a denticulated crest, possess non-swollen cloacae, and a less pronounced tail fin. The males’ ventral side is a deep-orange color and the females’ is a dark yellow color. Of the fifteen examined T. anatolicus, fourteen of them had thirteen rib-bearing pre-sacral vertebra. The lone T. anatolicus without thirteen rib-bearing pre-sacral vertebrae had twelve (Wielstra and Arntzen 2016).
Distribution and Habitat
Triturus anatolicus are distributed through northern Turkey. Their range extends from the Black Sea to 200 miles south towards inner Anatolia and from the Bosphorus Strait and the Northern side of the Marmara Sea to Yomra, Turkey. Additionally, Triturus anatolicus and T. ivanbureschi share a hybrid zone on the southern side of the Marmara Sea, between Lake Ulubat and Bursa, Turkey (Wielstra and Arntzen 2016).
Triturus anatolicus inhabits a wide variety of bodies of water. Including, but not limited to ponds, ditches, cisterns, quarries, lakes and flooded riversides. They can be found at altitudes as high as 1,200 meters (Sparreboom 2014).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Hibernation in T. anatolicus varies between individuals. Although most hibernate on land and enter the water after hibernation, some hibernate at the bottom of breeding ponds (Sparreboom 2014).
The breeding season begins amidst the onset of the winter rains in December. Females usually deposit between 200 - 400 eggs per season on aquatic plants close to the water surface (Sparreboom 2014).
Trends and Threats
Triturus anatolicus is not well adapted to changes in water quality. Therefore, it is sensitive to changes in water quality (Sparreboom 2014).
Relation to Humans
Triturus anatolicus can be affected by humans altering the quality of the water. Pollution is a concern, as well as the drainage of ponds and other bodies of water (Sparreboom 2014).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
Local pesticides, fertilizers, and pollutants
Based on single and mulitlocus Neighbor Joining analyses, and Bayesian inference, using ND4 mtDNA and nuclear introns, beta-Fibrinogen intron 7, Calreticulin intron C and Platelet-derived growth factor receptor a intron11, T. anatolicus is most closely related to T. ivanbureschi . They are both additionally sister to T. karelinii (Wielstra et al. 2013).
Triturus anatolicus and T. ivanbureschi are cryptic species that are collectively labeled as T. ivanbureschi sensu lato. A study using 52 nuclear markers to test gene flow between T. anatolicus and T. ivanbureschi supported the idea of restricted gene flow between the species. Further, mtDNA results support the idea that they recently shared genetic interactions (Wielstra and Arntzen 2016).
Triturus ivanbureschi and T. anatolicus share a hybrid zone in northwestern Turkey (Wielstra and Arntzen 2016).
Triturus anatolicus is synonymous with eastern populations of T. ivanbureschi and central populations of T. karelinii (Wielstra et al. 2013, Wielstra and Arntzen 2016).
Sparreboom, M. 2012. Salamanders of the old world: Salamandra corsica. Science.Naturalis. Accessed Febuary 2013 from http://science.naturalis.nl/hosted-sites/salamanders/salamanders-of-the-old-world/species-list/salamandra/corsica
Wielstra B, Arntzen JW (2016). ''Description of a new species of crested newt, previously subsumed in Triturus ivanbureschi (Amphibia: Caudata: Salamandridae).'' Zootaxa, 4109, 73-80.
Wielstra, B. Baird A.B. Arntzen J.W. (2013). "A multimarker phylogeography of crested newts (Triturus cristatus superspecies) reveals cryptic species." Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 67(1), 167-175. [link]
Originally submitted by: Darren Ayoub (first posted 2016-11-04)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2022-03-16)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Triturus anatolicus: Anatolian Crested Newt <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/8470> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 17, 2022.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2022. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 17 May 2022.
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