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Reptiles And Amphibians

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Carpathian newt

Triturus montandoni

The male Carpathian newt measures up to 7.5 centimetres long (including its tail), while the female is slightly longer, at up to 8 centimetres. During the mating season the newt's skin is smooth, although finely granulated in other seasons. The newt's colouring is variable, although most commonly it is yellow-brown and olive with a bright stripe down the middle of the back and dark spots on the sides, with a pink to red underside without spots. During the mating period the upper part of the male's tail is darker, while the lower part has a bright blue stripe.

This species of newt is endemic to the Carpathians and the Tatras (meaning it is found there exclusively).

Commonly found in the mountainous forest zone, these newts may also be found in mountain valleys. They are nocturnal, feeding on earthworms, slugs, insect larvae and millipedes. They are more active in spring, or at the beginning of June at higher altitudes. During the breeding season they live in various water bodies (even puddles on the roads). Following a mating dance the female lays between 30 and 80 eggs on the leaves of underwater plants. The average ovification period lasts for two weeks, although it depends on the water temperature. The tadpole period lasts for up to three months. The Carpathian newt abandons the water in July or August, although it remains in damp places near lakes, ditches and streams. The newts are active until the end of October, after which they brumate in burrows, hollows under stones or rotten stumps. They reach maturity at three years. This species is included in the Red Book of Ukraine.

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