This species ranges mainly in central and southern China (Guangxi, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hunan and Anhui Provinces), from about 400-1,700m asl. There are also records from Lao Cai and Ha Giang Provinces in northern Viet Nam (these are still considered to belong to Tylototriton asperrimus, though it is possible that they might refer to an undescribed species (Nguyen Quang Truong pers. comm.). Other Vietnamese records (i.e., Fleck, 2003; Nguyen and Ho, 1996; Nguyen et al, 2005) from Bac Giang and Cao Bang Provinces, and probably also those from Tam Dao National Park in Vinh Phu Province, in Viet Nam, refer to T. vietnamensis (Böhme et al., 2005; Nguyen Quang Truong pers. comm.).
Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits small temporary shallow pools in bamboo and primary forest in hilly areas. Eggs are found in leaf-litter beside the pools, and the larvae develop in the water.
This was formerly a common species, but it is now in decline.
The major threat to this species in China is harvesting for its use in traditional medicine (it is a substitute for Gecko gecko, which is a widely used medicine). Habitat loss and degradation, arising from small holder agriculture and subsistence wood collecting, is also a threat to this species.
In China the range of this species overlaps with several protected areas. It is listed as a class II protected species under China's wild animal protection law. Determination of the occurrence, distribution and population status of this species in Viet Nam is required, as well as the effective protection of the remaining forest habitat.
Red List Status
Near Threatened (NT)
Listed as Near Threatened because this species is in significant decline (but at a rate of less than 30% over ten years) because it is being over-harvested and is suffering from habitat loss and degradation, making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable.
van Dijk, P.P., Truong, N., Wai Neng Lau, M., Ermi, Z. & Shunqing, L. 2008. Tylototriton asperrimus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T59482A11932895. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T59482A11932895.en