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Species Description

Striped Newt

Notophthalmus perstriatus


Species Image

Classification

Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Caudata
Family: Salamandridae

Description

Olive green to dark brown back with a distinguishing dull to bright red stripe running down both sides of the back. The stripe is solid on the body, but may be broken into dashes on the head and tail. The back may also have some red spots or a light stripe down the center of the back. The belly is yellowish with black specks. A small salamander, 5 - 10 cm (2 - 4 in) long.

Life Cycle

Little is known about this species' habits.Courting and mating occur in late winter and early spring. Fertilization is internal. Eggs are laid in late spring and hatch in four weeks. Both the larva and the adult are aquatic. The eft stage is uncommon in this species, but may be important for dispersal of the species during the fall and winter rains. Neotony, represented in this species by the retention of portions of the external gills in adults, is common. The Striped Newt eats small insects, worms, frog eggs, and tadpoles. This newt requires shallow, unpolluted water and some vegetation. Isolated sinkhole ponds in the sand hills or semi-permanent Carolina Bays are ideal habitats.

Range

Striped Newt Region Map The Striped Newt is found throughout the lower Coastal Plain of Georgia.

Conservation Status

The Striped Newt is listed as Rare in Florida and Georgia and is being considered for Federal Status. Draining sinkholes, bays, and temporary summer pools may have harmful effects on this newt.

Similar Species

The red spots on the back of an Eastern Newt are outlined in black, and the Eastern Newt does not have a red stripe running down the sides of its back. Other salamanders have slippery or slimy skin.