Panha’s Crocodile Newt, Loei Crocodile Newt
Species Description: Nishikawa K, Khonsue W, Pomchote P, Matsui M. 2013. Two new species of Tylototriton from Thailand (Amphibia: Urodela.Salamandridae). Zootaxa 3737: 261-179.
© 2014 Axel Hernandez (1 of 10)
Tylototriton panhai is a medium sized Tylotriton with rough skin, narrow, defined dorsolateral bony ridges on its head, long, thin limbs, and thin tail. There is a noticeable overlap of the limbs when they are adpressed. Its coloration is orange to reddish brown on its dorsal head, upper and lower lips, vertebral ridge, rib nodules, limbs, and vent region. Like other members of the genus Tylototriton, Tylototriton panhai has prominent dorsal warts, dorsolateral bony ridges on its head, protruding round warts lining its dorsolateral body, and no quadrate spine. Based on molecular phylogeny, Tylototriton panhai is a member of the subgenus Yaotriton. However, it differs from all other species of the subgenus due to its noticeable yellow to reddish brown markings on its head, trunk, and tail edges. Tylototriton panhai’s widely developed dorsolateral bony ridges on its head, black limbs, and tail distinguishes it from others in the Tylototriton genus. More specifically, T. panhai differs from T. daweishanensis due to its yellow to reddish brown markings on head, trunk, and tail edges. Tylototriton panhai’s isolated rib nodules distinguishes it from T. kweichowensis and T. taliangensis. The colorful anterior half of its head differs from T. kweichowensis and T. yangi. Its colored markings also differs from T. verrucosus verrucosus (Nishikawa et al. 2013).
In life, Tylototriton panhai has a dark brown to black dorsal ground coloration. Its venter is slightly lighter, and the anterior half of the head, parotoids, vertebral ridge, rib nodules, tips of digits, margin of vent slit, and ventral edges of its tail have markings that are yellow, orange, or reddish brown. These markings fade to a cream color in preservative, while the darker brown ground color fades to a lighter brown or orange (Nishikawa et al. 2013).
The coloration of markings in Tylototriton panhai often varies from yellow to dark orange to reddish brown. The size of rib nodules can also vary. Often, dark reddish brown markings characterize individuals from Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park in Phitsanulok Province, while nodules smaller than the holotype are typical of individuals from Phu Suan Sai National Park in Loei Province (Nishikawa et al. 2013).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Lao People's Democratic Republic, Thailand
Tylototriton panhai thrives in humid forests with bamboo bushes and an assortment of bodies of water like temporal rain puddles and streams (Nishikawa et al. 2013).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The genus Tylototriton occurs exclusively in Northern Laos (>17degrees38’N) and at elevations greater than or equal to 980 m (Phimmachak et al. 2015).
Analysis of mt DNA revealed that Tylototriton is likely a monophyletic group with two major clades. One of the major clades consisted of the subgenus Yaotriton, which in turn contained two major subclades. Tylototriton panhai is grouped into one of these subclades along with T. vietnamesis, T. asperrimus, T. hainanensis, T. notialis, T. asperrimus (undetermined species identity), and T. ziegleri. Scientists recognize four species (T. panhai, T. notialis, T. anguliceps, and a fourth newly discovered, unnamed species of Tylototriton occurring in Laos (Pimmachack et al. 2015).
The species is named after Dr. Somsak Panha, a prominent Thai naturalist who assisted in field surveys of Tylototriton panhai.
Nishikawa, K., Khonsue, W., Pomchote, P., Matsui, M. (2013). ''Two new species of Tylototriton from Thailand (Amphibia: Urodela: Salamandridae).'' Zootaxa, 3737(3), 261 - 279. [link]
Phimmachak, S., Aowphol, A., Stuart, B.L. (2015). ''Morphological and molecular variation in Tylototriton (Caudata: Salamandridae) in Laos, with description of a new species.'' Zootaxa, 4006(2), 285-310.
Written by: Nicole Duong (2016-02-25)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2019-11-15)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2019 Tylototriton panhai: Panha’s Crocodile Newt <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/8094> 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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