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froggy
30th July 2008, 20:49
I was in Italy around Easter this year (a while ago i know). The locality was near the town of Udine, north of Venice. The newts live in agricultural ditches, and are neither very common, nor very rare.
Does anyone know which subspecies this would be?

Chris

caleb
31st July 2008, 10:13
As far as I know,all Italian vulgaris are L. (=T.) v. meridionalis. Males should have a low, straight (rather than wavy) crest and a tail filament.

froggy
31st July 2008, 13:24
Thanks Caleb.
Are there any other characters that define this subspecies?

Thanks to whomever changed the thread title for me

Chris

caleb
2nd August 2008, 18:22
The only characters I've heard about are the male's crest, tail filament and foot webs. But then I've not read this:

Raxworthy, C. J.,1990. A review of the smooth newt (Triturus vulgaris)
subspecies, including an identification key. Herpetol. J. 1: 481-492.

I may try to get this at some point, I'll let you know if I do.

froggy
2nd August 2008, 18:48
Thanks Caleb. According the the Collins field guide, they are L. v. meridionalis, too. I would be interested to know if there are any more permanent diagnostic characters of this subspecies.

Cheers

Chris

franceschino
3rd August 2008, 23:17
It's a L. v. meridionalis. The range of this subspecies is Italy and the Istria peninsula. Morphologically they should be somewhat smaller than the nominate subspecies and as Caleb said the crest of the males is lower.
ciao
Francesco

PS: I found the range of the subspecies on this article :
Babik W, Branicki W, Crnobrnja-Isailovic J, et al. (2005) Phylogeography of two european newt species & discordance between mtDNA and morphology. Molecular Ecology 14, 2475-2491.

froggy
20th August 2008, 13:08
Thanks Francesco. Sorry about the late reply; i have been away and didn't notice the post.