Two New Cases of Paedomorphosis in the Caucasian Newts: Ommatotriton ophryticus (The First Record) and Lissotriton vulgaris lantzi

Dmitry V. Skorinov, Oleg Novikov, Leo J. Borkin, Spartak N. Litvinchuk


A female of the Caucasian banded newt, Ommatotriton ophryticus ophryticus (Berthold, 1846) with well-developed external gills was found in Malaya Ritsa Lake, Abkhazia, the western Caucasus. It is the first record of paedomorphosis for the genus. A paedomorphic Lissotriton vulgaris lantzi (Wolterstorff, 1914) and an overwintering larva of Triturus karelinii (Strauch, 1870) were captured in the settlement Machary, the eastern vicinity of Sukhum Town, Abkhazia. The geographic distribution of paedomorphic newts and overwintering larvae of Ommatotriton ophryticus ophryticus and Lissotriton vulgaris lantzi are mapped.


Amphibia; Salamandridae; paedomorphosis; Ommatotriton ophryticus; Lissotriton vulgaris lantzi; the Caucasus

Full Text:



Borkin L. J., Litvinchuk S. N., and Zuiderwijk A. (2004), «Bandmolch, Triturus vittatus (Gray, 1835)», in: Grossenbacher K. G. and Thiesmeier B. (eds.), Handbuch der Reptilien und Amphibien Europas. Bd. 4. Schwanzlurche II/1, AULA-Verlag, Wiebelsheim, pp. 555 – 605.

Chikovani T. G., Vronsky N. V., Gigauri G. N., and Syroechkovskiy E. E. (1990), «Ritsa Nature Reserve», in: Sokolov V. E. and Syroechkovskiy E. E. (eds.), Zapovedniki Kavkaza [Natural Reserves of the Caucasus], Mysl’, Moscow, pp. 115 – 123 [in Russian].

Denoël M. (2007), «Priority areas of intraspecific diversity: Larzac, a global hotspot for facultative paedomorphosis in amphibians», Animal Conserv., 10, 110 – 116.

Gorovaya V. I. and Tertyshnikov M. F. (1983), «On biology of Triturus vulgaris lantzi Wolt., 1914 (Caudata: Salamandridae) in central Ciscaucasus», in: Sokolov V. E. and Volskis R. S. (eds.), Vid i Yego Produktivnostv Areale [Species and Its Productivity in Distribution Area], Nauka, Moscow, pp. 88 – 92 [in Russian].

Litvinchuk S. N. and Borkin L. J. (2009), Evolution, Systematics, and Distribution of Crested Newts (Triturus cristatus Complex) in Russia and Adjacent Countries, St. Petersburg [in Russian] (in press).

Litvinchuk S. N., Rudyk A. M., and Borkin L. J. (1996), «Observations on paedomorphic newts (Triturus vulgaris) from the former Soviet Union», Russ. J. Herpetol., 3(1), 39 – 48.

Malandzia V. I. and Vasilenko D. P. (2002), «On the distribution and biology of newts (Triturus, Amphibia) in Abkhazia», in: Tarba Z. M. (ed.), Biologicheskoye Raznoobraziye Kavkaza [Biological Diversity of the Caucasus], Proc. of the 2nd Reg. Conf., Sukhum, pp. 127 – 134 [in Russian].

Ostrovskikh S. V., Plotnikov G. K., and Khasanov I. A. (2002), «The record of neotenic larvae of the smooth newt (Triturus vulgaris lantzi Wolt., 1914) in Krasnodar Kray», in: Aktualnyye Voprosy Ékologii i Okhrany Prirody Ékosistem Yuzhnykh Regionov Rossii i Sopredelnykh Territoriy [Actual Problems of Ecology and Nature Protection of Ecosystems of the Southern Regions of Russia], Krasnodar, pp. 88 – 89 [in Russian].

Rudyk A. M. (1989), «New herpetological records in the Caucasus», in: Szczerbak N. N. (ed.), Problemy Gerpetologii [The Problems of Herpetology]. Abstrs. of the 7th All-Union Herpetol. Conf., Kiev, Naukova Dumka, Kiev, pp. 213 – 214 [in Russian].

Tuniev B. S. (2004), «The herpetofauna of the limestone massifs of Psou-Bzyb’ interfluve in Abkhazia», in: Malandziya V. I. (ed.), Biologicheskoye Raznoobraziye Kavkaza [Biological Diversity of the Caucasus], Proc. of the 3th Reg. Conf., Nal'chik, Vol. 1, pp. 209 – 215 [in Russian].



  • There are currently no refbacks.