Ventral and lateral spot patterns differentiation between three smooth newt species (Amphibia: Salamandridae: Lissotriton)

Keywords: tailed amphibians, morphological variation, external characters, spotted colouration, newt, Lissotriton

Abstract

The location, shape and area of dark spots on the belly, throat and sides of the body of three closely related species of smooth newts (Lissotriton kosswigi, L. schmidtleri and L. vulgaris) were analysed. Differences were found between species and sexes in the location and shape of dark spots on the belly, throat and lateral surfaces of the body. Discriminant analysis of these spot characteristics allows to identificate of males of all three species with a high degree of confidence (85–91%). In females, only L. vulgaris was correctly distinguished from the other two species (accuracy 81–94%). Anatolian and Thracian populations of L. schmidtleri have very similar patterns of dark spots, which confirm their conspecificity. The differences in the location and size of dark spots make possible successful identification of the species during field research and study of museum specimens. The developed method could be useful for comparative studies of other animal species which have spotted camouflage or aposematic colouration.

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Published
2022-08-12
How to Cite
SkorinovD., BozkurtE., OlgunK., & LitvinchukS. N. (2022). Ventral and lateral spot patterns differentiation between three smooth newt species (Amphibia: Salamandridae: Lissotriton) . Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 68(3), 261-276. https://doi.org/10.17109/AZH.68.3.261.2022