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Sunday, July 03, 2005

Amphibians: Sardinian Brook Newt

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Description

The Sardinian brook newt has a slender body with a flattened head; the tail is low and oval in cross-section. The upper jaw overhangs the lower, and the lips are well developed. The extremities are slender and the front leg carries four, and the hind leg five, toes; males have a small spur on the hind legs. The male cloaca is hook-shaped, whilst that of the female is more or less cone-shaped.

The skin is relatively smooth, with a few unevenly distributed warts. Coloration is variable; the upper surface may be grey, brown or olive, with variable numbers of brown, green, red or black spots along the back. The underside is frequently yellowish or reddish, particularly along the centre of the belly, and usually dark spotted, especially in males. The throat is usually spotted, and there is a white, yellowish, bright-brown, rust-brown or dark-brown stripe along the backbone.

Status: Classified as Critically Endangered (CR - A1ac, B1+2bcd) on the IUCN Red List 2002.

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