Common Names in English:
california newt, Coast Range Newt, Sierra Newt
Species Taricha torosa
The California Newts
(Taricha torosa) are large salamanders reaching
total lengths almost up to 8 inches. They are characterized by warty
that is not slimy, and are light brown to balck above with ayellow
to orange belly. They bear a close resemblance to the Rough-skinned
Newt (Taricha granulosa), but California Newts usually have a lighter
dorsal color with less contrast between the ventral and dorsal colors
on the side. A better character is the the lower eyelid
(relatively dark in the Rough-skinned Newt). California
Newts also have larger eyes - seen from above the outline of the
eye reaches the edge
of the outline of the head
, it does not in the
California Newts are quite poisonous, as are all Newts of the genus Torosa, so it is not advised to handle these salamanders.If you do, wash your hands before touching your eyes or anything that you might put in your mouth .
Found in a variety of habitats similar to those used by the Rough-skinned Newt, though in the Sierra Nevada and the mountains of southern California they also inhabit fast moving streams . California Newts also seem to prefer less humid habitats than the Rough-skinned Newts.
Breeding occurs in ponds
, and streams
, and terrestrial
individuals occupy various adjacent
such as grassland,
woodland, and forest
(Storer 1925, Petranka 1998, Stebbins 2003,
Kuchta 2005). Eggs
are attached to sticks
, undersides of stones
or vegetation in flowing or nonflowing water; fast-moving streams
are used more often in Sierra Nevada foothills and in
southern California mountains than elsewhere in the range
List of Habitats:
- 1 Forest
- 1.4 Forest - Temperate
- 3 Shrubland
- 3.4 Shrubland - Temperate
- 3.8 Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation
- 4 Grassland
- 4.4 Grassland - Temperate
- 5 Wetlands (inland)
- 5.1 Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls )
- 5.2 Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent/Irregular Rivers/Streams/Creeks
- 5.4 Wetlands (inland) - Bogs , Marshes, Swamps , Fens , Peatlands
- 5.5 Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
- 5.6 Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
- 5.7 Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
- 5.8 Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
- 15 Artificial/Aquatic & Marine
- 15.2 Artificial/Aquatic - Ponds (below 8ha)
- 15.5 Artificial/Aquatic - Excavations (open) [more info]
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- C. Linnaeus, 1758
- (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Grobben, 1908
- (Haeckel, 1874) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Bateson, 1885
- Cuvier, 1812
- Jawed Vertebrates
- Goodrich, 1930
- Gray, 1825
- Haeckel, 1866
- Order: Caudata () - Scopoli, 1777
- Infraclass: Lissamphibia ()
- Subclass: Lissamphibia () - Haeckel, 1866
- Class: Amphibia () - Gray, 1825
- Superclass: Tetrapoda () - Goodrich, 1930
- Infraphylum: Gnathostomata () - auct. - Jawed Vertebrates
- Subphylum: Vertebrata () - Cuvier, 1812 - Vertebrates
- Phylum: Chordata () - Bateson, 1885 - Chordates
- Infrakingdom: Chordonia () - (Haeckel, 1874) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Branch: Deuterostomia () - Grobben, 1908
- Subkingdom: Bilateria () - (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Kingdom: Animalia () - C. Linnaeus, 1758 - animals
Taricha torosa (Rathke in Eschscholtz, 1833) • Taricha torosa sierrae • Taricha torosa sierrae (Twitty, 1942) • Triton torosa Rathke • Triturus sierrae Twitty
Status: Accepted Name
Last scrutiny: 01-Sep-2009
Taricha sierrae formerly was recognized as a subspecies of Taricha torosa.
Phylogenetic analysis of mtDNA data (Tan and Wake 1995) revealed the following clusters in T. torosa: (1) northern Sierra Nevada (Shasta to Nevada counties); (2) central Sierra Nevada (El Dorado to Fresno counties); (3) southern Sierra Nevada (Tulare to Kern counties) (independently derived relative to 1 and 2, above); (4) southern coastal California (San Diego and Orange counties); (5) central coastal California (Los Angeles to central and northern California). This study and additional allozyme data (Kuchta and Tan 2006) provided the basis for a phylogeographical history of T. torosa. Among other things, the data are consistent in indicating that populations in the southern Sierra Nevada are more closely related to T. torosa torosa than to T. t. sierrae.
In the interests of taxonomic stability , Kuchta and Tan (2006) refrained from advocating changes in the taxonomic status of Taricha torosa torosa and Taricha torosa sierrae, pending completion and publication of ongoing studies.
Kuchta (2007) examined genetic and morphological variation in Taricha torosa and concluded that T. torosa and T. sierrae are distinct evolutionary lineages that should be recognized as distinct species..
Members of the genus Taricha
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 8 species and subspecies in this genus:
T. granulosa (Rough-Skin Newt) · T. granulosa granulosa (Rough-Skinned Newt) · T. granulosa mazamae (Crater Lake Newt) · T. rivularis (Western Red-Bellied Newt) · T. sierra (Sierra Newt) · T. torosa (Coast Range Newt) · T. torosa sierrae (California Newt) · T. torosa torosa (California Newt)
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Accessed through GBIF Data Portal February 29, 2008:
- California Academy of Sciences: CAS Herpetology Collection Catalog
- Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History: Vertebrate specimens
- Museum of Vertebrate Zoology: Terrestrial vertebrate specimens
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 25983
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: ITS-173622
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 173622
- IUCN ID: 245379
- Natural Heritage Network Species Identifier: AAAAF02030
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 7208