IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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Description

Females are slightly larger than males and grow up to 160mm in length. These large newts are unmistakable with any other species. There is a dark stripe through the eye. The warty skin has a black background with a green marbled pattern. The belly is black with small white spots in the nominate subspecies, while this pattern in the smaller subspecies, T. m. pygmaeus, is augmented with yellow markings and larger white spots (Griffiths 1996). During the aquatic phase, the male develops a large dorsal and caudal crest. This crest shows a vertical black and green striping pattern and is not serrated, but is undulated laterally. Females do not develop a dorsal crest but instead have a permanent bright orange vertebral stripe. The tail does develop a crest in females, but this is much lower than that of the males. Males have a bright light lateral stripe along the tail and a stronger developed cloaca. During the terrestrial stage the skin gets a velvet-like texture and becomes water-repellant, and the green pattern becomes brighter. The dorsal and caudal crests diminish greatly, although they do not disappear entirely in the males (Noellert and Noellert 1992)

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