Italian crested newt
92/43/EEC Directive ann. II and IV
This is a big urodeles (it reaches 18 cm including the tail) spreads in large parts of Italy, in southern Austria and Slovenia; while itis still common throughout Friuli Venezia Giulia plain it is still susceptible to a gradual depletion due to loss of breeding habitat. Infact, to coupling it requires standing water deeper than 30 cm, with good vegetation cover and unpolluted.
When it is on land, it lives in fields, meadows and woods, never far from the breeding site. It winters usually under rocks or buried; males reach the water from the end of February and remain there until August.
The mating ritual is complex, the female lays up to 400 eggs by attaching to rocks or vegetation of the fund.
The species is rather long-lived: in some cases may even reach 18 years of age. The larvae are predators of aquatic invertebrates, while in adults the diet is composed of larger prey (insects, molluscs, annelids, but also young people and adults in other newts and young of their species). The main cause of the decline of this species is the gradual destruction of habitat, the excessive simplifying of the environment, the presence of pollutants in the water and the introduction of salmonids.
A. Toselli ©