Thursday, March 21, 2013

[Herpetology • 2013] Tylototriton ziegleri | Ziegler's Crocodile Newt • A New Species of Tylototriton (Amphibia: Urodela: Salamandridae) from Northern Vietnam

Ziegler's Crocodile Newt | Tylototriton ziegleri
Nishikawa, Matsui & Nguyen, 2013 

A new species of the salamandrid genus Tylototriton is described from Ha Giang and Cao Bang provinces, northern Vietnam, based on molecular and morphological data. The new species differs morphologically from all known congeners in the combination of blackish body coloration; medium-sized body; distinctly rough skin; tubercular vertebral ridge; knob-like rib nodules; large eye; and low, narrow tail. The distribution pattern of species of Tylototriton in Vietnam is briefly discussed.

 Keywords: Tylototriton, Molecular phytogeny, Morphology, New species, Vietnam

Larva of Ziegler's crocodile newt
Photo: Tao Thien Nguyen 

New newt species found in northern Vietnam 
A group of Vietnamese and Japanese scientists have found a new species of newt in the northern mountainous areas of Ha Giang and Cao Bang provinces.

The Vietnam National Museum of Nature announced Tuesday on its website ( that the recently-discovered Tylototriton ziegleri, was named after Dr. Thomas Ziegler from the Cologne Zoo in Germany.

Ziegler has made many contributions to biodiversity conservation and research in Vietnam, according to the museum.
Nguyen Thien Tao, a member of the research group, said male and female Tylototriton ziegleri grow an estimated 54-68 millimeters and 71 millimeters long, respectively, without their tails.

The newt has rough, dark brown or black skin with tiny bumps on it, a long furrow along its back and lines of large nodules on both sides of the body, as well as thin, long legs and thin tails. There are also orange marks on the nodules, at the end of its limbs, its anus, and parts of the tails. 

According to Tao, there are seven types of newts found in Vietnam, with Paramesotriton deloustali (also known as Tam Dao salamander), Tylototriton vietnamensis (Vietnamese crocodile newt) and the new Tylototriton ziegleri only found in northern Vietnam.

This discovery, which has been published in the Japanese magazine Current Herpetology, is the result of cooperation between the Vietnam National Museum of Nature and Japan’s Kyoto University.   


Kanto Nishikawa, Masafumi Matsui and Tao Thien Nguyen. 2013. A New Species of Tylototriton from Northern Vietnam (Amphibia: Urodela: Salamandridae). Current Herpetology. 32(1):34-49.
DOI: 10.5358/hsj.32.34
The beautiful amphibian from Hell: scientists discover new crocodile newt in Vietnam
New newt species found in northern Vietnam