Distribution and Habitat
The Pyrenean newt is restricted to the Pyrenean range. It is thus an endemic with a rather restricted distributional range. The species is one of several amphibians originating in the Mediterranean area after the Alpidic orogeny. The genus Euproctus already existed during the Oligocene, when the ancestors of today's species inhabited the Tyrrhenian microplate. This was later separated from the Iberian Peninsula and the populations left on the mainland became differentiated during the Miocene, resulting in the current Pyrenean species. The range of the species has changed in the past following climatic changes and it is now probably smaller than it formerly was. The species was formerly described as restricted to central Pyrenees, but is now known to inhabit the whole chain. The easternmost populations are those of La Junquera, near the eastern end of the Spanish-French border. The westernmost locality is the Sierra de Aralar, between the Basque Country and Navarre, clearly outside the main Pyrenean range. The southern extremity of the area is the Montseny Mountain, between the provinces of Barcelona and Gerona, which is now known to be not an isolated population but connected to the main Pyrenean populations. The northernmost locality is near St. Jean Pied de Port, in the French Basque Country; some specimens, however, have been carried northwards, by water, up to Toulouse.
Altitudinal distribution is very wide: the lowest locality is the Lac de Banyoles, in Cataluñia, at 175 m. and the highest is the Pic de Cambalés, at 2900 m (probably a mistake and should be Lac de Cambalés, in Hautes Pyrénées, 2500-2600 m). There are indications of the presence of the species above 2600 m., but without a precise locality (Gasc 1997).
Euproctus asper Inhabits clear oxygen-rich mountain streams and mountain lakes and ponds. It prefers rocky substrates and avoids muddy waters. It also a facultative inhabitant of subterranean water bodies (Ublein et al 1992).
- 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.
- NÃ¶llert, A. and NÃ¶llert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
- Uiblein, F., Durand, J. P., Juberthie, C., and Parzefall, J. (1992). ''Predation in caves: the effects of prey immobility and darkness on the foraging behaviour of two salamanders, Euproctus asper and Proteus anguis.'' Bahavioural Processes, 28, 33-40.