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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Salamanders with relatively flat head, small eyes and lacking parotoid glands. The skin is coarse and granular. Digits black and hardened distally. Can be distinguished from other (allopatric) species of Euproctus by the presence of a gular fold and the absence of spurs on the hind legs of males. Euproctus asper has a variable coloration, depending on geographic region, altitude and coloration of the substrate. The dorsum varies from gray and green to brown and black. Occasionally black spots are present. A yellow dorsal line, present in newly metamorphosed individuals, may fade with age or persist into adulthood. The venter is yellow to orange-red, and this coloration can extend to the ventral surfaces of the head and tail. Males are smaller (105-120 mm total length) than females (110-140 mm). Males usually have a relatively broader and longer head than females. The cloaca of the females is pear-shaped, bell-shaped or extended to a short tube. The cloacal opening is small and round and directed downward or backward. In males, the cloaca is hemispherical, and the opening is a longitudinal slit. The tail is shorter and higher in males than in females (Boehme et al 1999).

  • Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
  • Boehme, W., Grossenbacher, K., and Thiesmeier, B. (1999). Handbuch der Reptilien und Amphibien Europas, band 4/I:Schwanzlurche (Urodela). Aula-Verlag, Wiesbaden.
  • 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.
  • Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is found throughout much of the Pyrenean mountain range of France and Spain, where it occurs at a wide range of altitudes from 175m to over 3,000m asl (on the northern slopes of the Pyrenees), although the average range is 700-2,500m asl. It has recently been found in the Corbieres Mountains, 20km south-east of Carcassonne, in south-eastern France, which represents a range extension northwards.
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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).

  • Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
  • Boehme, W., Grossenbacher, K., and Thiesmeier, B. (1999). Handbuch der Reptilien und Amphibien Europas, band 4/I:Schwanzlurche (Urodela). Aula-Verlag, Wiesbaden.
  • 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.
  • Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It is a largely aquatic montane species that inhabits cold mountain lakes, torrents, streams, and occasionally cave systems, that are ice-free for at least four months of the year (Griffiths 1996). The eggs are deposited individually under rocks and stones in well-oxygenated, cold streams with rocky bottoms, and the larvae then develop in these streams. This species has a small clutch size of 20-40 eggs (Griffiths 1996).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 26 years (wild) Observations: In the wild, these animals might live up to 26 years (Smirina 1994). Their longevity in captivity is unknown.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Calotriton asper

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There is 1 barcode sequence available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is the sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen.

Other sequences that do not yet meet barcode criteria may also be available.

ACTCGATGACTGTTTTCTACCAATCATAAAGACATTGGCACCCTTTATTTAATTTTCGGTGCTTGAGCCGGCATGGTCGGCACCGCACTT---AGCCTTCTCATCCGAGCCGAACTCAGCCAGCCAGGCGCCCTTCTCGGAGAT---GATCAGATTTATAACGTCATTGTCACAGCCCATGCTTTTGTAATAATTTTTTTTATGGTAATGCCTGTAATAATCGGCGGATTTGGGAACTGACTCGTTCCCCTAATA---ATTGGAGCCCCCGACATGGCCTTCCCACGAATAAACAACATGAGCTTTTGACTGCTCCCCCCTTCATTTTTACTATTACTGGCCTCGTCGGGCGTGGAAGCCGGAGCAGGAACCGGGTGAACAGTCTACCCCCCACTAGCAGGAAATCTCGCCCACGCGGGCGCTTCTGTTGACTTA---ACCATCTTCTCACTTCATCTGGCAGGAGTGTCCTCGATTTTAGGGGCAATTAACTTTATCACCACATCAATTAACATAAAGCCCCCATCAATAACACAGTATCAAACCCCCCTATTCGTATGATCAGTATTAATCACCGCCATTCTTCTACTTCTTTCCCTCCCCGTACTAGCAGCA---GGTATTACTATACTACTTACCGATCGAAACTTAAACACCACATTTTTTGACCCTGCCGGAGGGGGGGACCCAGTACTTTACCAACACTTATTCTGATTTTTCGGCCACCCAGAAGTCTACATCCTCATCCTCCCTGGCTTTGGCATGATCTCGCACATTGTGACATACTATTCTGCTAAAAAA---GAGCCATTTGGGTATATAGGCATGGTTTGAGCAATAATGTCAATTGGACTTCTAGGCTTCATTGTATGAGCCCACCACATGTTTACAGTAGACCTAAATGTAGATACACGAGCATACTTTACATCTGCTACAATGATTATTGCTATCCCAACGGGTGTAAAAGTCTTCAGCTGGCTG---GCAACAATACACGGAGGC---TCAATCAAGTGAGACGCCGCCATACTCTGAGCTTTAGGGTTCATCTTCCTCTTTACGGTTGGAGGGCTGACAGGCATCGTACTGGCAAACTCATCATTAGACATCGTCCTGCATGATACCTATTACGTTGTGGCACACTTTCACTATGTC---CTCTCCATAGGGGCCGTATTTGCCATCATGGGGGGATTCGTCCACTGATTTCCGCTTTTCTCAGGGTATACTCTTCACCCCATCTGATCTAAAATTCACTTTGGAGTGATATTCCTAGGAGTAAACCTAACATTCTTCCCCCAACACTTCCTAGGTCTTGCCGGAATACCCCGA---CGATACTCAGACTACCCAGACGCATACACC---CTTTGAAACACAGTCTCATCTGTTGGGTCTTTAATTTCACTTGTTGCTGTGATTATAATAATATTTATTATTTGAGAAGCATTTGCCTCAAAACGAGAAGTG---TTAACAACAGAATTGACTCCAACAAAC
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Calotriton asper

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
NT
Near Threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2009

Assessor/s
Bosch, J., Tejedo, M., Lecis, R., Miaud, C., Lizana, M., Edgar, P., Martínez-Solano, I., Salvador, A., García-París, M., Recuero Gil, E., Marquez, R. & Geniez, P.

Reviewer/s
Cox, N. and Temple, H.J. (Global Amphibian Assessment)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Near Threatened because its extent of occurrence is probably not much greater than 20,000 km², and its habitat is in decline, thus making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable.

History
  • 2006
    Near Threatened
    (IUCN 2006)
  • 2006
    Near Threatened
  • 2004
    Least Concern
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Population

Population
It is abundant or common in parts of its restricted range, although several peripheral populations have disappeared largely through loss of habitat. It is more common in the west of its range.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

Euproctus asper has a tendency toward an aquatic lifestyle. Their flattened body shape enables them to crawl under rocks. They are nocturnally active. This species breeds shortly after the melting of the snow. The populations on the north side of the Pyrenees avoid water temperatures above 15ºC, while populations on the south side live in water up to 17.5ºC. Egg laying and spermatogenesis occur in the aquatic phase of the annual cycle. At 2400 m the aquatic period is from July to September, at 1000 m from May to November and at 300 m from September to May-June. The animals at low altitudes leave the water in summer. Cave-dwelling individuals differ from surface-dwelling ones in reproductive periodicity due to lack of light stimulation. Mating behavior in Euproctus asper is variable and can start with active mate searching by the male, or by a signaling stance, in which the male raises his tail into a near-vertical position. This signaling stance can be maintained for several hours. When a mate is found, or comes near a male in signaling stance, the male restrains the female by wrapping his tail around her cloacal region. Then the male starts to move his hind legs in a slow and rhythmic manner, presumably to stimulate the females cloacal region. The hind legs of the male are held in such a way that they catch the spermatophores, which are subsequently maneuvered into the females' cloaca. After mating the male releases the female. The female lays her eggs in crevices and cracks in well-oxygenated water. Females lay 20 to 30 eggs annually and these are 3.5 to 5 mm in diameter, not taking the gelatinous envelope into account. At medium elevation (1000 m) the larval stage lasts about 14 months. The larvae metamorphose the second summer. At higher elevations (2000 m) the larval stage can last 2 years and they metamorphose the third summer. At higher elevations the larvae can grow to 95 mm before metamorphosis. Neotenic animals have been found in the Valle de Arán. Metamorphosis is slow and takes a month at 12ºC. The newly metamorphosed salamanders are dark with a yellow middorsal line and a yellow lateral band or spots. Sexual maturity is reached after two years at 1000 m, and after 2.5-3 years for males and 4 years for females at 2000 m (Boehme et al 1999). Euproctus asper can probably live as long as 20 years (Noellert and Noellert 1992).

  • Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
  • Boehme, W., Grossenbacher, K., and Thiesmeier, B. (1999). Handbuch der Reptilien und Amphibien Europas, band 4/I:Schwanzlurche (Urodela). Aula-Verlag, Wiesbaden.
  • 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.
  • Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
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Threats

Major Threats
The main threats to this species are loss and damage of its aquatic habitats. Infrastructure development and tourism lead to over-exploitation of water resources, including from skiing facilities. The introduction of predatory trout (salmonids) and other fish is also a threat, leading to population extinctions, especially in mountain lakes. Pesticides are readily accumulated in the body tissues of this largely insectivorous species, and several populations demonstrate contamination by these chemicals (Gasc et al. (eds.) 1997). It is considered likely to be vulnerable to climate change.
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

Across most of its range the populations do not seem to face any major problems, the animal being abundant and easily found in many places. However in certain peripheral localities, newts are scarce and several populations have disappeared. Destruction of the habitat is the main problem due to damming of mountain brooks, opening of new roads, pollution by campers and so on. Other problems are the introduction of game fish and chemicals. Because its food consists of insects and because the common habitat of the species is the mountain pond, which gathers the surrounding waters, even minute quantities of pesticides will eventually accumulate in its body. Although the use of pesticides in mountain areas is low, some populations of Pyrenean newt show contamination by these substances. The present distribution limits are not biogeographic. Formerly, the species was found in other mountain ranges, but peripheral populations have apparently become extinct. The actual distributional limits define not the lack of capability to colonize over lands, but the places where access by man is hampered. The whole range is still shrinking, although it has shown an artificial increase in recent years due to newly available data (Gasc 1997).

  • Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
  • Boehme, W., Grossenbacher, K., and Thiesmeier, B. (1999). Handbuch der Reptilien und Amphibien Europas, band 4/I:Schwanzlurche (Urodela). Aula-Verlag, Wiesbaden.
  • 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.
  • Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It has been recorded from Parque Nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido and Parque Nacional de Aigües Tortes y Lago San Mauricio, Spain, and presumably occurs in several other protected areas. It is listed on Appendix II of the Bern Convention and on Annex IV of the EU Habitats Directive, and it is protected by national legislation in Spain.
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Wikipedia

Pyrenean brook salamander

The Pyrenean brook salamander or Pyrenean newt (Catalan: tritó pirinenc; Basque: uhandre piriniarra; Spanish: tritón pirenaico), Calotriton asper, is a species of salamander in the family Salamandridae. It is found in the Pyrenees of Andorra, France, and Spain, where its natural habitats are temperate forests, rivers, intermittent rivers, freshwater lakes, freshwater marshes, inland karsts, and caves. The IUCN lists it as "near threatened" due to habitat loss.

Description[edit]

MolgeAsperaBedriaga.jpg

The Pyrenean brook salamander grows to about 16 cm (6.3 in) in length, half of which is the laterally flattened tail. The females are usually larger than the males. The body is sturdy with a flattened head and small eyes, and the limbs are short. There are no parotoid glands and the skin is covered with small, rough tubercles. The colour is very variable, the upper side usually being some shade of olive, grey, charcoal, or muddy brown, sometimes mottled with ochre, with an intermittent yellowish stripe down the spine. The underside has a row of dark splotches at either side and the centre is red, orange, or yellow. The male has a rounded cloacal swelling while the female has a conical one.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The Pyrenean brook salamander is endemic to the Pyrenees and surrounding mountains and is found at altitudes ranging from 700 to 2,500 metres (2,300 to 8,200 ft). It is a mostly aquatic species usually frequenting slow-moving streams and shallow mountain lakes. It favours water below 15°C (59°F) with scarce vegetation on rocky or pebbly bottoms.[2] Some Pyrenean brook salamanders live entirely inside caves where they breed over a long period of the year due to lack of day length stimulus.[3]

Biology[edit]

The Pyrenean brook salamander is infrequently seen, though it is active by day, as well as by night. It is mostly aquatic in summer. It feeds on insects and other slow-moving invertebrate prey, and is itself eaten by trout, so it is often scarce in locations in which they are abundant.[2] It is sensitive to pesticides in the water which are absorbed through the skin and accumulate in the tissues.[3]

The Pyrenean brook salamander sometimes aestivates in hot weather in the lower parts of its range. It hibernates in winter on land at higher altitudes, emerging in the spring. During courtship, the male displays his brightly coloured underparts before grasping the female around the loins with his tail and transferring one to four spermatophores directly into her cloaca in a process that lasts several hours. The female lays 20 to 40 eggs over the course of a few weeks, sticking them to rocks or inside crevices with her extensible cloaca. The eggs hatch after about six weeks; the larvae have external gills and are entirely carnivorous. They may overwinter one or more times before metamorphosis and become mature in two or more years, depending on altitude, with the females taking longer.[2] The juvenile newts are a dark colour with a thin, yellow line along the spine.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jaime Bosch, Miguel Tejedo, Roberta Lecis, Claude Miaud, Miguel Lizana, Paul Edgar, Iñigo Martínez-Solano, Alfredo Salvador, Mario García-París, Ernesto Recuero Gil, Rafael Marquez & Philippe Geniez (2009). "Calotriton asper". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved February 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Arnold, Nicholas; Denys Ovenden (2002). Reptiles and Amphibians of Britain and Europe. London: Harper Collins Publishers Ltd. pp. 37–38. 
  3. ^ a b c "Calotriton asper". AmphibiaWeb. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
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