Cristatus or alpestris?

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Cristatus or alpestris?

Postby Tom Hoogesteger » Mon May 22, 2017 12:47 pm

What is this?

Photographed near Turku in Southwestern Finland, at a site where only Lissotriton vulgaris is known.
T. cristatus does occur in Finland, but has only been found in the Åland islands and in the eastern parts of the country.
I. alpestris (introduced, of course) has been found in one pond, about 10 km away from this location.
The photographer identified this newt as T. cristatus, but wants confirmation. He says it was "at least 12 cm" long.
Which species is this?

myst1.jpg

myst2.jpg

myst3.jpg
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Re: Cristatus or alpestris?

Postby Mario Schweiger » Mon May 22, 2017 12:54 pm

Triturus cristatus female ;)
fine white spots on the flanks, orange median line
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Re: Cristatus or alpestris?

Postby Ilian Velikov » Mon May 22, 2017 1:20 pm

Yes, cristatus for sure.
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Re: Cristatus or alpestris?

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Mon May 22, 2017 2:56 pm

I agree, but careful with those white dots, because this is alpestris =>

Image
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Re: Cristatus or alpestris?

Postby Tom Hoogesteger » Mon May 22, 2017 3:28 pm

Thank you guys. Cristatus is what I would have said too, I just wasn't 100% sure from those pics.
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Re: Cristatus or alpestris?

Postby Tom Hoogesteger » Tue May 23, 2017 9:40 pm

Guess what?
Today a male Ichthyosaura alpestris was seen, and photographed, in the same pond.
Is this female still 100% certainly cristatus? :|
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Re: Cristatus or alpestris?

Postby Ilian Velikov » Tue May 23, 2017 11:05 pm

I'd stick with cristatus although it wouldn't take too much to convince me otherwise if anybody comes up with solid proof. The rough estimate of size (12cm), the white spots, and the dorsal line could be present in both species, so I'm basing my opinion on the lack of the marbled pattern on the back usually present in alpestris females, the overall proportions, and my experience with seeing many Triturus (mostly cristatus). However my experience with Ictyosaura is limited so I'll be interested in what others have to say.
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Re: Cristatus or alpestris?

Postby Noah Meier » Wed May 24, 2017 6:46 am

Hi Tom
It looks definitly typical for T.cristatus. Don't let you mislead by finding some other newts. As I'm coworking for different monitoring projects I got the possibility to search for newts with traps in certain ponds in my area. There are several ponds in which T.cristatus, I.alpestris, L.helveticus and L.vulgaris live together.
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Re: Cristatus or alpestris?

Postby Tom Hoogesteger » Wed May 24, 2017 10:08 am

But Finnish alpestris females do look like this. No marbled dorsal pattern, white dots on flanks. This is an alpestris female from a known Finnish population:

Image
Image
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Re: Cristatus or alpestris?

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Wed May 24, 2017 1:52 pm

Tom Hoogesteger wrote:But Finnish alpestris females do look like this. No marbled dorsal pattern, white dots on flanks. This is an alpestris female from a known Finnish population:

Image
Image

do you base this generalization on only one specimen?
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