AMPHIBIAWEB
Tylototriton kweichowensis
Red-tailed Knobby Newt
Subgenus: Tylototriton
family: Salamandridae
subfamily: Pleurodelinae

© 2005 Henk Wallays (1 of 30)

AmphibiaChina 中国两栖类.

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Vulnerable (VU)
CITES No CITES Listing
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

 

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From the Encyclopedia of Life account:

Distribution

The species is recorded from Bijie, Dafang, Hezhang, Nayong, Shuicheng, Weining, and Zhijin in western Guizhou and from Yiliang and Yongshan in northeastern Yunnan (Zhao, 1998).


Authors: Wu, Yunke; Sparreboom, Max
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Morphology

A large and robust salamander. Head oval, with distinct bony ridges along the sides. Nostrils close to the tip of the broad and rounded snout. Prominent glandular vertebral ridge. Dorsolateral ridges less prominent than in T. shanjing. Fingers and toes not webbed. Skin of body and tail granular. Paratoids large and distinct. Gular fold prominently present. limbs are strong and moderately long. The tip of the longest finger reaching beyond the nostril to the tip of snout. When limbs are adpressed, palm and sole overlap (Liu, 1950). Tail compressed laterally, with well-developed fin fold, a little shorter than snout-vent length. Dorsolateral warts not round and widely separated as in T. shanjing, but square, not distinct and almost fused (Thorn & Raffaelli, 2001; Nussbaum et al., 1995). Color black, with bright orange pigment on the temporal region of the head. Three broad longitudinal orange stripes on the back. Tail and tips of digits orange-yellow. Sexual dimorphism is poorly developed. The cloaca of the male is characterized by a small longitudinal slit, that of the female by a small rounded opening.


Authors: Wu, Yunke; Sparreboom, Max
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Size

All measurements are from Fei et al. (2006).

Male (13 specimens). Total length: 155–195 mm; snout-vent length: 81–110 mm; head length: 15–21 mm; head width: 18–22 mm.

Female (6 specimens). Total length: 177–210 mm; snout-vent length: 101–122 mm; head length: 18–22 mm; head width: 20.5–21 mm.


Authors: Wu, Yunke; Sparreboom, Max
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Diagnostic Description

A large and robust salamander with orange pigment on the head, except the snout, on vertebral ridge, on dorsolateral body and tail warts on an otherwise dark brown ground color. Tail and digits orange. Dorsolateral warts not round and widely separated as in T. shanjing, but square, almost fused or only separated by narrow grooves (Nussbaum et al., 1995).


Authors: Wu, Yunke; Sparreboom, Max
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Habitat

Small ponds, slowly flowing streams and surroundings in mountainous regions of 1,800 to 2,300 m altitude. Shady and moist grassy slopes, with many hiding places, are their preferred terrestrial habitat. For reproduction T. kweichowensis prefers ponds with algae and aquatic plants, and a water depth of less than one meter (Tian et al., 1997; Zhao, 1998). Outside the breeding season, T. kweichowensis mainly lives on land. It preys both on land and in water. Preys include insects (mostly beetles), centipedes, shrimps, snails, earthworms and frogs. This newt is most active in the morning (around 10 am) and at night (Gu & Shang, 1994).


Authors: Wu, Yunke; Sparreboom, Max
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Reproduction

The reproductive season is from early May to early July, which coincides with the rainy season. The sex ratio in the breeding ponds varies per month, with males usually outnumbering the females, especially in June and July (Hu et al., 1996; Tian et al., 1997). At one site near Bijie, Hu et al. (1996) reported that the minimum snout-vent length of reproductive males was 70 mm (mostly 77–91 mm) and that of reproductive females 80 mm (mostly 89–98 mm). An incomplete courtship sequence was observed by Tian et al. (1997). This included ventral amplexus. The male grasped the female from below, hooking his fore legs around the forelimbs of the female. During this amplexus, the couple moved about by movements of tail and forelimbs of the female and hind legs of the male. Amplexus could last one or two days. The male was seen bending his tail, a trembling movement passing along the distal third part of his tail, after which he deposited a spermatophore on the floor. Only then did the pair separate, but the female did not pick up the spermatophore during amplexus (Tian et al., 1997). There are also reports of courtship consisting of a pair slowly turning round in circles, face to face, the male fanning his tail. During this rotating movement, the male deposited several spermatophores; the female was led over the spermatophores and picked up one in her cloaca. Ventral amplexus was not observed (Fleck, 1992).

Eggs are laid singly, or two to three at a time, and disperse on the bottom of the pond. Some are laid on land, on moist soil, under large stones near the pond. The entire clutch is laid within one to three days after insemination of the female. Clutch size is 121 (Tian et al., 1995) or 141 on average (Tian et al., 1997) and is positively correlated to snout-vent length of the female. Egg diameter is 2.3–3.4 mm, diameter of egg including gelatinous envelope is 6.5 to 6.2 mm. At water temperatures of 16 to 22 °C, larvae hatch after 21 days. Hatching rate is higher in June than in May, and is related to rainfall and air temperature. Larvae hatch at 12 mm length, with remains of yolk still present. After 105 days metamorphosis takes place at a total length of ca. 62 mm. The orange color of mid-dorsal stripe and tail appears and the juveniles go on land (Tian et al., 1997).


Authors: Wu, Yunke; Sparreboom, Max
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Evolution

Tylototriton kweichowensis forms a well-supported clade with T. shanjing and T. verrucosus in mitochondrial phylogeny (Weisrock, et al., 2006). Xiao et al. (2010) sampled 12 populations of T. kweichowensis from across its range, but found very little geographic structure among populations. This result may indicate that there is relatively frequent gene flow between populations or that this species is recovered from a recent population bottle neck (Xiao et al., 2010).


Authors: Wu, Yunke; Sparreboom, Max
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Genetics

Karyotype:

2n=24, 1M, 2M, 3M, 4M, 5M, 6SM, 7M, 8SM, 9M, 10M, 11SM, 12ST, from Yang (1992). M: metacentric; SM: submetacentric; T: telocentric; ST: subtelocentric

Mitochondrial sequence data are available in Weisrock et al. (2006) and Xiao et al. (2010).


Authors: Wu, Yunke; Sparreboom, Max
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Conservation

Habitat destruction and degradation caused by brick factories and mining are threatening this species. It is also collected for use in traditional Chinese medicine and the pet trade (Zhao, 1998; IUCN, 2010). It is listed as Vulnerable (IUCN, 2010).


Authors: Wu, Yunke; Sparreboom, Max
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/