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Pyrenean Brook Salamander (Calotriton asper)

Pyrenean Brook Salamander
Pyrenean Brook Salamander – photo by DAGOR53

nearthreatened

Common English Names: Pyrenean Brook Salamander and Pyrenean Mountain Newt
Scientific Name: Calotriton asper
Family: Salamandridae
Locations: Andorra, France, and Spain
Female Size: 4.3 – 5.5 inches (110 – 40 mm)
Male Size: 4.1 – 4.7 inches (105 – 120 mm)

The Pyrenean Brook Salamander is found only in the Pyrenean range in Europe. It is found near oxygen rich mountain streams, ponds, and lakes. They breed in these waters once the snow melts. Males can actively search out females or they will raise their tail to almost a near vertical position as a signal to the females. The males can hold this position for hours.

After mating, the females lay 20 to 30 eggs in the crevices and cracks of water bodies. The larval stage varies in length due to the elevation they are at. At lower elevations, the larval stage takes a little over a year. The larval stage can last two years at higher elevations. Sometimes in the Valle de ArĂ¡n, they never undergo metamorphism and are neotenic, retaining their larval characteristics throughout their life.

While the Pyrenean Brook Salamander is only rated as Near Threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list, their populations are declining and they could become endangered if the trend isn’t stopped. Non-native trouts have been introduced into the streams that they live in for fishing purposes. These trouts feed on the salamanders. Humans have also dammed off some of the streams they live in and have built roads through them. Campers have polluted the streams that the salamanders live in.

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