TRITURUS ITALICUS (=LISSOTRITON ITALICUS): THE ITALIAN NEWT
Male Triturus italicus. Photo by R. Griffiths.
Mating behaviour: male shown in black, female in white. From Arntzen & Sparreboom (1989).
The Italian newt, found over the southern half of Italy, is the smallest species of the genus, growing to around 8 cm. Both sexes are olive-brown in colour, with a pale yellow belly, and a darker throat. Both belly and throat may have some dark spotting. The breeding male has slight dorsolateral ridges, and has large, dark spots on the body and tail. There are no webs on the hind feet, and no crest on the back, although there is a very short tail filament.
No subspecies have been described.
Arntzen, J. W. & Sparreboom, M., 1989. A phylogeny for the Old World newts, genus Triturus: biochemical and behavioural data. J. Zool., Lond. 219: 645-664. [ABSTRACT]