Kaiser Newt/Kaiser Mountain Newt/Kaiser Spotted Newt/Luristan Newt

ANIMAL:
Kaiser Newt/Kaiser Mountain Newt/Kaiser Spotted Newt/Luristan Newt Neurergus kaiseri

Type of Animal:
Salamander

Habitat:
Open oak woodland near streams, ponds, pools, manmade water reservoirs, waterfall edges, mountainous areas, water troughs, streams, highland streams surrounded by arid scrubland, oak woodland (open & closed), pistachio woodland (open & closed), oak-pistachio mixed woodland (open & closed), cold/cool mountain valley streams, spring-fed mountain streams, scrub forest, open woodland, forests (open & closed), stream-river transition areas, wetlands, shrubland

Location(s):
W Iran

Appearance:
Black back w/ white spots, narrow orange-red/yellow stripe running from behind head to tail, orange-red/white/black markings on legs, orange-red/whitish belly, slender build, large eyes, tadpoles grayish-brown w/ black spots

Food/Diet:
Insects, insect larvae, worms, snails, crustaceans

Status in Wild:
Threatened

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos, aquariums, breeding centers, & herpetoculture. Close monitoring of restricted range. Populations currently increasing. Reintroduction into native range.

Lifestyle:
Groups of 6-8

Additional Info:

Called:
Male
Female
Young: Tadpole/Eft
Group: Congress/Band

Weight:
Male: 0.11-0.34 oz
Female: 0.13-0.4 oz
 
Gestation:
9 days 

Life Span:
8-14 years

Body Length:
Male: 1.89-2.43 in
Female: 2.13-3.1 in

Tail Length:
Male: 1.32-2.86 in
Female: 2.07-2.98 in

Active at night (nocturnal).
 
Courtship involves male pursuing female, positioning himself so anterior portion facing female’s anterior region. While in front of female, he fans/slaps tail dispersing mating pheromones. After fanning completed, he walks in front of female. As he walks away, spermatophore (gelatinous sperm packet) deposited. He walks in front of spermatophore, positioning himself perpendicular to female. Female follow/chases male w/ snout touching male’s tail. Afterwards, female picks up male’s spermatophore in her cloaca.
 
After mating, females deposit 45-60 eggs.
 
After 9 days, eggs hatch as aquatic tadpoles staying in this stage for 3-4 months, maturing faster in warmer water. As they metamorphose, they lose gills & tail changes losing swimming membrane & parotid glands near head become noticeable. This is when eft stage entered, becoming terrestrial juveniles. They stay in this stage until 20 months-2 years old.
 
While increasing & now downlisted from critically endangered to threatened, it’s still at high risk due to water pollution, restricted range, pet trade, habitat loss, stream damming, drought, & predation of eggs/larvae by barbel fish.

Fun Fact(s):
Due to poisonous skin/flesh, adults have no predators. Striking coloration serves as warning to any would-be predator.
 
Usually estivate in hot dry weather.

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