AMPHIBIAWEB

Salamandridae

(see family information on Tree of Life site)
120 species in 21 genera

Commonly Called True Salamanders, Newts, European Salamanders


Cynops pyrrhogaster;
Photo by Joachim Nerz
(Click for family gallery)

Salamandrids are small to medium sized (Salamandra and Pleurodeles reach more than 200 mm) terrestrial or aquatic salamanders. Mostly distributed throughout Europe and Asia, although the distribution of Salamandra and Pleurodeles reaches North Africa, and the genera Notophthalmus and Taricha are endemic to North America. Most species have toxic skin secretions. Many Salamandrids develop dorsal body and tail fins when they return to an aquatic stage, while rough skin is characteristic of its terrestrial phase as adult newts. Lungs are present in juveniles and adults. Salamandrids achieve internal fertilization through the use of a spermatophore which the male induces the female to take up through a courtship dance.

The family is organized into three subfamilies: Salamandrininae, Salamandrinae, and Pleurodelinae. Salamandrininae is sister to the clade containing the other salamandrids and only has one genus, Salamandrina, known from the mountains of Italy. Salamandrinae species are generally slender and distributed in south and central Europe through western Asia and northern Africa. Pleurodelinae species are generally known as Newts, with a distinct terrestrial phase and equally distinct, sometimes flamboyantly so, aquatic phase when adults return to water for breeding.

News Highlight:
June 5, 2017: North American newts, Notophthalmus, form a relatively young clade that appears to be experiencing a mini-adaptive radiation (DeLisle and Rowe 2017). Derived taxa are becoming more aquatic. Males are diverging from females as a result of disruptive selection related to competition for food. This increase in sexual dimorphism is manifest in feeding-related head morphology. The authors suggest that sexual antagonism and its resolution may accompany local adaptation, environmental change and adaptive radiation, in contrast to some theoretical work suggesting that evolution of sexual dimorphism might act as a constraint.
Written by AmphibiaWeb

Notable Family Characteristics

  • Aquatic and terrestrial species
  • Biphasic or triphasic life cycles, where larvae are fully aquatic, and may metamorphose into terrestrial juveniles and or adults. Some species return to aquatic form as adults, either seasonally for breeding or permanently
  • Males court females for breeding
  • Many possess highly toxic secretions from poison glands in their skin
  • Fertilization is internal through a spermatophore
  • Some morphological characters for the group are: 1) vomerine teeth extending posteriorly on lateral edges of vomers; 2) frontal-squamosal arch present; 3) vertebrae opisthocoelous; 4) costal grooves above the ribs are absent; 5) functional lungs are present; 6) functional eyelids are present.
  • Global distribution in Europe, western Asia, Asia, northern Africa and North America

Relevant Reference

Vitt, L. J., and J. P. Caldwell. 2013. Herpetology. An Introductory Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles. Fourth Edition. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Subfamily Pleurodelinae (100 species)

Genus Calotriton (2 species)    [subfamily Pleurodelinae]
Calotriton arnoldi AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Calotriton asper AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Genus Cynops (9 species)    [subfamily Pleurodelinae]
Cynops chenggongensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Cynops cyanurus AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Cynops ensicauda AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Cynops fudingensis AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Cynops glaucus no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Cynops orientalis AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Cynops orphicus no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Cynops pyrrhogaster AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Cynops wolterstorffi AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Genus Echinotriton (3 species)    [subfamily Pleurodelinae]
Echinotriton andersoni AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Echinotriton chinhaiensis AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Echinotriton maxiquadratus AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Genus Euproctus (2 species)    [subfamily Pleurodelinae]
Euproctus montanus AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Euproctus platycephalus AmphibiaWeb account photos sound/video

Genus Ichthyosaura (1 species)    [subfamily Pleurodelinae]
Ichthyosaura alpestris AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Genus Laotriton (1 species)    [subfamily Pleurodelinae]
Laotriton laoensis AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Genus Lissotriton (9 species)    [subfamily Pleurodelinae]
Lissotriton boscai AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Lissotriton graecus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Lissotriton helveticus AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Lissotriton italicus AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Lissotriton kosswigi no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Lissotriton lantzi no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Lissotriton montandoni AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Lissotriton schmidtleri no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Lissotriton vulgaris AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Genus Neurergus (4 species)    [subfamily Pleurodelinae]
Neurergus crocatus no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Neurergus derjugini AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Neurergus kaiseri AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Neurergus strauchii AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Genus Notophthalmus (3 species)    [subfamily Pleurodelinae]
Notophthalmus meridionalis AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Notophthalmus perstriatus AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Notophthalmus viridescens AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Genus Ommatotriton (3 species)    [subfamily Pleurodelinae]
Ommatotriton nesterovi no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ommatotriton ophryticus AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Ommatotriton vittatus no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Genus Pachytriton (10 species)    [subfamily Pleurodelinae]
Pachytriton airobranchiatus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Pachytriton archospotus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Pachytriton brevipes AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Pachytriton changi no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Pachytriton feii AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Pachytriton granulosus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Pachytriton inexpectatus no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Pachytriton moi AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Pachytriton wuguanfui no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Pachytriton xanthospilos no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Genus Paramesotriton (14 species)    [subfamily Pleurodelinae]
Paramesotriton aurantius no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Paramesotriton caudopunctatus no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Paramesotriton chinensis no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Paramesotriton deloustali no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Paramesotriton fuzhongensis no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Paramesotriton guangxiensis no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Paramesotriton hongkongensis no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Paramesotriton labiatus AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Paramesotriton longliensis no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Paramesotriton maolanensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Paramesotriton qixilingensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Paramesotriton wulingensis no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Paramesotriton yunwuensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Paramesotriton zhijinensis AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Genus Pleurodeles (3 species)    [subfamily Pleurodelinae]
Pleurodeles nebulosus no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Pleurodeles poireti AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Pleurodeles waltl AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Genus Taricha (4 species)    [subfamily Pleurodelinae]
Taricha granulosa AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Taricha rivularis AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Taricha sierrae AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Taricha torosa AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Genus Triturus (9 species)    [subfamily Pleurodelinae]
Triturus anatolicus AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Triturus carnifex AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Triturus cristatus AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Triturus dobrogicus AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Triturus ivanbureschi no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Triturus karelinii AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Triturus macedonicus no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Triturus marmoratus AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Triturus pygmaeus no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Genus Tylototriton (23 species)    [subfamily Pleurodelinae]
Tylototriton anguliceps AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Tylototriton anhuiensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Tylototriton asperrimus no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Tylototriton broadoridgus no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Tylototriton dabienicus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Tylototriton hainanensis no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Tylototriton himalayanus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Tylototriton kweichowensis AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Tylototriton liuyangensis no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Tylototriton lizhengchangi no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Tylototriton notialis AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Tylototriton panhai AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Tylototriton podichthys AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Tylototriton pseudoverrucosus no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Tylototriton shanjing AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Tylototriton shanorum AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Tylototriton taliangensis AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Tylototriton uyenoi no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Tylototriton verrucosus AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Tylototriton vietnamensis AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Tylototriton wenxianensis AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Tylototriton yangi no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Tylototriton ziegleri AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Subfamily Salamandrinae (18 species)

Genus Chioglossa (1 species)    [subfamily Salamandrinae]
Chioglossa lusitanica AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Genus Lyciasalamandra (10 species)    [subfamily Salamandrinae]
Lyciasalamandra antalyana AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Lyciasalamandra arikani no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Lyciasalamandra atifi no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Lyciasalamandra billae no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Lyciasalamandra fazilae no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Lyciasalamandra flavimembris no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Lyciasalamandra helverseni no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Lyciasalamandra irfani AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Lyciasalamandra luschani AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Lyciasalamandra yehudahi no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Genus Mertensiella (1 species)    [subfamily Salamandrinae]
Mertensiella caucasica AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Genus Salamandra (6 species)    [subfamily Salamandrinae]
Salamandra algira AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Salamandra atra AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Salamandra corsica AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Salamandra infraimmaculata AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Salamandra lanzai AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Salamandra salamandra AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Subfamily Salamandrininae (2 species)

Genus Salamandrina (2 species)    [subfamily Salamandrininae]
Salamandrina perspicillata AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Salamandrina terdigitata AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video


Citation: AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. Available: https://amphibiaweb.org/. (Accessed:

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