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Pleurodeles waltl, Spanish Ribbed Newt
AmphibiaTree - Multiple Institutions
Ashley Gosselin-Ildari
Pleurodeles waltl
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University of California Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ 177903)

Image processing: Dr. Ashley Gosselin-Ildari
Publication Date: 13 Jul 2007

upper body | head only


The Spanish ribbed newt (Pleurodeles waltl) is Pleurodelesdistributed throughout Portugal, central and southern Spain, and Morocco. This is a relatively large species of salamander and can reach up to 30 cm in length. Skin coloration is variable and includes olive-green, brown, and yellow. The underside can be light yellow, grey, or white. A series of warts extend up both side of the body covering protruding ribs, which offer protection against predators (Griffiths, 1996). Spanish ribbed newts belong to the group Salamandridae. Salamandridae includes 15 genera and 55 species of salamanders and newts. Species are distributed throughout North America, Europe, northwest Africa, and Asia. Some species are terrestrial but most are either mostly or fully aquatic (Pough et al., 1998).

Spanish ribbed newts are aquatic and prefer ponds, lakes, and streams with a substantial amount of vegetation. During periods of drought, individuals will burrow underground until water is restored in their habitat. The species is nocturnal and bottom-dwelling. The diet of Spanish ribbed newts includes almost any prey that is small enough to swallow, which can include other amphibians (Griffiths, 1996).

Mating occurs between March and June, although this season can be extended during warm winters. Fertilization is internal with males depositing a spermatophore inside the cloaca of the female. Clutch size ranges from 200 to 300 eggs, which are laid on plants or stones. Females can either lay each egg individually or in small clusters. Once larvae hatch they grow to about 10 cm before metamorphosis (Griffiths, 1996).

Additional Information on the Skull

Click on the thumbnails below for labeled images of the skull in standard anatomical views.

Dorsal view

Lateral view

Ventral view

About the Species

This adult specimen was made available to The University of Texas High-Resolution X-ray CT Facility for scanning by Dr. David Cannatella of the University of Texas and the Amphibian Tree of Life project (EF-0334952). Funding for scanning and image processing was provivded by Dr. Cannatella's grant, and funding for additional image processing was provided by a National Science Foundation Digital Libraries Initiative grant to Dr. Timothy Rowe of The University of Texas at Austin.

About this Specimen

This specimen was scanned by Matthew Colbert on 20 December 2006 along the coronal axis for a total of 405 slices. Each 1024 x 1024 pixel slice is 0.07384 mm with an interslice spacing of 0.07348 mm and a field of reconstruction of 34 mm.

About the

Griffiths, R. A. 1996. Newts and Salamanders of Europe. Academic Press Limited, San Diego, CA. 188 pp.

Pough, F. H., R. M. Andrews, J. E. Cadle, M. L. Crump, A. H. Savitzky, K. D. Wells. 1998. Herptetology. Prentice Hall, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ. 577 pp.


Pleurodeles waltl page on Caudata Culture

Pleurodeles waltl page on Livingunderworld.org

& Links

Front page image.

Pleurodeles waltl

To cite this page: AmphibiaTree, Ashley Gosselin-Ildari, 2007, "Pleurodeles waltl" (On-line), Digital Morphology. Accessed July 24, 2024 at http://digimorph.org/specimens/Pleurodeles_waltl/whole/.

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