Family Friday


Number of Subfamilies: 3 – Pleurodelinae, Salamandrinae, Salamandrininae
Number of Genera: 21
Pleurodelinae – Calotriton, Cynops, Echinotriton, Euproctus, Ichthyosaura, Laotriton, Lissotriton, Neurergus, Notophthalmus, Ommatotriton, Pachytriton, Paramesotriton, Pleurodeles, Taricha, Triturus, and Tylototriton
Salamandrinae – Chioglossa, Lyciasalamandra, Mertensiella, and Salamandra
Salamandrininae – Salamandrina
Number of Species: 119

The family Salamandridae contains salamanders and newts. Often members of the family are called “True Salamanders” because they have smooth skin but there are members with rough skin. The subfamily Pleurodelinae is home to the newts. It’s the largest subfamily. The family is found in Europe, the United States, Asia, and the northern tip of Africa.

The members of the family use internal fertilization for breeding, but some lay eggs and some give birth to live offspring.


The genus Calotriton is known as the European Brook Newts. There are only two newts in the genus, Montseny Brook Newt (Calotriton arnoldi) and the Pyrenean Brook Salamander (Calotriton asper).

Oriental Fire-bellied Newt (Cynops orientalis)
Oriental Fire-bellied Newt (Cynops orientalis)

The Fire bellied Newts are members of the genus Cynops. They are naturally found in China and Japan.

The genus Echinotriton is known as the Mountain Newts or Spiny Newts. They are found in China and Japan.

European Mountain Salamanders Euproctus are found on the island of of Sardinia and Corsica.

Alpine Newt

Alpine Newt (Ichthyosaura alpestris)is the only newt in the genus Ichthyosaura. It is found throughout central Europe.

Photo by Henk Wallays

The genus Laotriton is home to only 1 species of newt, the Laos Warty Newt (Laotriton laoensis). It is obviously found in Laos but it’s only found there. It is listed as an endangered species by the IUCN.

The genus Lissotriton is found in Europe and Asia minor.

The genus Neurergus contains the Spotted Newts. They are found in the Middle East but mostly Turkey and Iran.

Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus  viridescens)

The genus Notophthalmus is known as the North American Newts because they are found in North America (duh).

The genus Ommatotriton is known as the Banded Newts. There are only two species in the genus – the Northern Banded Newt (Ommatotriton ophryticus) and the Southern Banded Newt (Ommatotriton vittatus).  They are found in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

The genus Pachytriton is known as the Chinese Newts. They are found in Southeastern China.

The genus Paramesotriton is known Asian Warty Newts.

Iberian Ribbed Newt

The Ribbed Newts, Pleurodeles, are found in Northern Africa and the Iberian Peninsula.

Rough Skinned Newt

The Pacific Newts, Taricha, are found on the western coast of the United States and Mexico.

Great Crested Newt – photo by Rainer Theuer

The genus Triturus is found throughout Europe from Great Britain to Serbia. The genus contains the Crested and Marbled Newts.

The genus Tylototriton is known as the Crocodile Newts or Knobby Newts. They are found throughout Southeast Asia.


Gold Striped Salamander

There is only one salamander in the genus Chioglossa, it is the Gold-striped Salamander (Chioglossa lusitanica). It is found in Spain and Portugal.

The salamanders of the genus Lyciasalamandra are commonly referred to as the Lycian salamanders. All the member of the genus are found in Turkey or the Aegean Islands in Greece.

The only salamander in the genus Mertensiella is the Caucasian Salamander (Mertensiella caucasica). It is found in Turkey and Georgia and is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN Red list.

Corsican Fire Salamander (Salamandra corsica)

The genus Salamandra is known as the fire salamanders because most of the species are different fire salamanders. The genus is spread throughout Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa.


photo by Clemens M. Brandstetter

This subfamily only has two species of salamanders in it that come from the same genus. They are the Northern Spectacled Salamander (Salamandrina perspicillata) and the Southern Spectacled Salamander (Salamandrina terdigitata). Both salamanders are found only in the Apennine Mountains in Italy.

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