Khammouan Crocodile Newt
Species Description: Stuart BL, Phimmachak S, Sivongxay N, Robichaud WG 2010 A new species of the Tylototriton asperrimus group (Caudata: Salamandridae) from central Laos. Zootaxa 2650:19-32.
T. notialis can be distinguished from other members of the T. asperrimus group by the knob-like nature of its rib nodules, and by its skin texture and coloration (in particular, the orange coloration present on the parotoids, which is absent in all other members of the group) (Stuart et al. 2012).
Coloration in life: The base coloration of T. notialis is dark brown, over both the dorsal and ventral surfaces. The glands which run down its back, the posterior portion of the parotoids, the tips of the toes, the edges of the ventral surfaces of the hands and feet, the cloaca, the top margin of the dorsal fin, and the ventral ridge of the tail are all bright orange. Some yellow spotting is present on the anterior surfaces of the limbs. The iris is dark brown (Stuart et al. 2012).
Coloration in preservation: The body fades to a lighter brown, and previously orange regions fade to yellow or a creamy yellow color (Stuart et al. 2012).
Variation: Some T. notialis may have black coloration instead of dark brown. It has been observed in the closely related T. vietnamensis that individuals found on land are darker in coloration than those found in the water (Stuart et al. 2012).
Larvae: T. notialis larvae have been found in two size classes. One larva measured 33.1 mm in length; nine others were between 17.8 and 20.9 mm. They were found at the bottom of a slow moving stream with sand and bedrock substrate (Stuart et al. 2012).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Lao People's Democratic Republic
T. notialis inhabits evergreen forests mixed with deciduous and pine. Individuals may be found in streams or on the forest floor. It is found at elevations of between 980 and 1,000 meters above sea level (Stuart et al. 2012).
Trends and Threats
Relation to Humans
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
The species name, notialis, is a Latin word for "southern", referring to the fact that T. notialis is the southernmost member of the T. asperrimus group.
T. notialis is a member of the T. asperrimus group, and appears to be most closely related to T. vietnamensis.
The type locality of T. notialis is located near the former Ho Chi Minh Trail, which was used during the Vietnam War by the North Vietnamese and their allies to move troops and supplies into South Vietnam. The paratype male was found 3 meters from an undetonated bomb dropped by American forces during the war (Stuart et al. 2012).
Stuart, B.L., Phimmachak, S., Sivongxay, N., Robichaud, W.G. (2010). ''A new species of the Tylototriton asperrimus group (Caudata: Salamandridae) from central Laos.'' Zootaxa, 2650, 19-32.
Written by: John Cavagnaro (2012-09-10)
Edited by: Michelle S. Koo (2013-02-11)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2013 Tylototriton notialis: Khammouan Crocodile Newt <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/7585> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 13, 2021.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2021. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 13 Apr 2021.
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