Italian crested newt

Triturus carnifex, males in country costume

The Alpine newt (Triturus carnifex ), also called Italian crested newt is a salamander of the family of Real salamander. It belongs to the genus Triturus species and group of crested newts (Triturus cristatus "super species "). Until the 1980 's, he was treated as a subspecies of the then " only" the great crested newt. In Germany, the species probably occurs at most in the extreme southeast.


It is a broad-headed, quite large newt. He reached similar body lengths, such as the Great Crested Newt ( Triturus cristatus) - an average of about 12 to 13 centimeters; females also have a maximum 20 centimeters. The males develop a dorsal crest that is not jagged as high or as strong as the Northern Crested Newt or the Danube crested newt during the mating season. The crest is separated from Schwanzsaum through an incision - as with all comb pigs ( but see: newt ). The top is bright brownish- gray to dark brown, with dark round spots and is relatively smooth-skinned. Females in country costume and juveniles often have a yellowish longitudinal line on the back. The throat is mottled white, the belly yellow or orange with dark, especially "washed out" looking, not clearly defined patches. The flanks are in contrast to the other crested newt species hardly spotted white. In particular, the slurred mottling and the lack Weißpunktierung the sides considered the most important external recognition features.

Habitat, lifestyle

The mating season in the spring and partially over the summer, the animals keep in perennial herbaceous pools and ponds. Crested newts are generally seasonal tied more closely to the body of water than other newts (compare this and other behaviors: Northern Crested Newt ).

Alpine newts eat like all amphibians live animals that are smaller than themselves, especially by worms, insects and spiders.


The main range of the nominate of the Alpine - crested newt is on almost the entire Italian boots and radiates to the Swiss Ticino ( in the Geneva was the kind also exposed ), and in southern and eastern Austria (especially Carinthia and Styria, Lower Austria north to the Danube and east to Vienna ) and after Slovenia and northwestern Croatia. About Linz and Salzburg and the extreme southeast edge of Bavaria is achieved in Germany. Here is the Berchtesgaden country to call with individual localities; the highest is 780 m above sea level. NN are. According to recent research, it is doubtful whether this is indeed genetically "real" alpine newts. It is now rather believed to have settled there primarily or even exclusively hybrids of Triturus carnifex and Triturus cristatus.

The altitudinal distribution of the Alpine - crested newt reaches 1,900 meters above sea level in Italy. In this country, it is observed that the populations in the south ( Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria ) are genetically much more homogeneous than those further north. This is explained by postglacial migration.

The former subspecies Triturus carnifex macedonicus is - well Triturus carnifex carnifex spatially separated from - in the former Yugoslavia, especially well represented in Bosnia - Herzegovina, Montenegro, southern Serbia and Macedonia as well as Albania and northwestern Greece. The entire Balkans but given the complicated territorial and artlichen splitting of the T. cristatus superspecies not yet definitively resolved in this room. New systematic overviews have the previous subspecies now a separate species status for Triturus macedonicus ( ie about: " Macedonian Crested Newt ").

Threats and conservation

In the Red List of endangered species in Germany by 1998, the Alpine newt was still classified as " critically endangered ". This review presupposes, however, that the kind ever found in Germany, which has now become questionable ( see above). In the version of 2009, the Alpine newt was therefore not considered.

Legal protection status (selection)

  • Habitats Directive: Annexes II and IV (there are specially establishing protected areas / strictly protected species )
  • Federal Nature Conservation Act ( Federal Nature Conservation Act ): strictly protected

National Red List classifications (selection)

  • Red List of Austria: VU (corresponds endangered)
  • Red List of Switzerland: EN (corresponds to high risk )