Total length of males to 115 mm for males (average 94 mm), up to 124 mm for
females (average 96 mm). Adult males have a mental gland on the chin. Tail
oval in cross section and slightly less than half the total length. Limbs
well developed, hind legs slightly longer than front legs. Front feet with
4, hind feet with 5 broad, flattened digits that are widened distally. Base
color from dark brown to black, with marbled pattern. Pattern may be in brown,
olive-green, gray-green, or (rarely) ochre, and can be covered with randomly
distributed white spots. The ventral side is bright and with a speckled or
marbled pattern (Boehme et al 1999).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Italy
H. genei is an endemic of Southwestern Sardinia, precisely of the region
known as Sulcis-Iglesciente (province of Cagliari). It has been collected from
8 m (locality Pubusino, commune of Fluminimaggiore) and 600 m a.s.l.
(Western slope of Monte Sebera, commune of Teulada)
Lanza (Boehme et al 1999) reports the finding of this species at an
altitude of 646 m a.s.l. and suggests it may occur at even higher altitudes.
The preferred temperature of H. genei and other Sardinian
Hydromantes species is slightly higher than that of mainland species.
H. genei is abundant, like other Hydromantes species,
in caves and under rocks (Boehme et al 1999).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The data on the life history of this species is sparse. It is assumed that the
life history and habitat choice are similar to those of H. ambrosii
(Boehme et al 1999).
Trends and Threats
The specialized biology of this species has allowed it to persevere although
its natural habitat has been subjected to deforestation. Only the populations
inhabiting the marginal zone between Carbonaria (deforestation, urbanization),
Barbusi (quarry) and Monte Tasua are in need of protection(Boehme et al 1999).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Featured in Amazing Amphibians on 13 May 2013
Boehme, W., Grossenbacher, K., and Thiesmeier, B. (1999). Handbuch der Reptilien und Amphibien Europas, band 4/I:Schwanzlurche (Urodela). Aula-Verlag, Wiesbaden.
Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
Stumpel-Rieks, S. E. (1992). Nomina Herpetofaunae Europaeae. AULA-Verlag, Wiesbaden.
Originally submitted by: Arie van der Meijden (first posted 1999-11-03)
Edited by: David B. Wake (2021-01-26)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2021 Hydromantes genei: Sardinian Cave Salamander <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/4074> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jan 28, 2022.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2022. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 28 Jan 2022.
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