Salamandra infraimmaculata infraimmaculata (Turkish or Near Eastern Fire Salamander / Türk Benekli Semenderi, Yakındoğu Benekli Semenderi) [just metamorphosed Juvenile/henuz başkalaşmış Yavru] from İskenderun, Hatay* - 15.05.2012.
Fire salamanders, i.e. the genus Salamandra, consist of 6 species, 4 of which have defined subspecies. They show a wide range of appearance and geographical distribution. Visibly, the main difference between this species and the Common Fire Salamander S. salamandra can be seen in the parotoid glands posterior to eyes, which in S. salamandra are numerous, distinct and generally pigmented, but in S. infraimmaculata are very indistinct.
Salamandra inframaucalata is a thick bodied robust salamander with a maximum total length of about 25-32 cm. The females are usually larger than males, and also the cloacal region is more swolen in males. The cross-section of the relatively short tail is roundish. This species has no coloration on the belly, the underside is completely black. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, rivers, and freshwater springs. It is threatened by habitat loss. The appearence of this species is quite different among subspecies;
Salamandra infraimmaculata infraimmaculata is large (up to 32 cm), and has big yellow dots over the whole body, except the belly. Usually there are four yellow spots on the head; one on each paratoid and one above each eye. It is known from the southern Israel to Hatay, Turkey -southern and eastern parts of Amanos Mts.- including the Mediterranean ecozone of Lebanon and Israel.
S. i. orientalis is in appearence about the same as S. i. infraimmaculata, but has larger, yellow spots over the whole body, exept the belly. This subspecies is known from the Southern, central and eastern Turkey (Adana, Kahramanmaraş, Erzincan, Bitlis, Hatay –Western parts of Amanos Mts.). The type locality is Findikpinar, near Adana.
S. i. semenovi is large, and has rose-like, small round spots over the whole body. The head is fairly round. It is distributed in SE Anatolia, Zagros Mts between the northern Iraq and Iran.
It inhabits damp forest and groves in mountainous or hilly regions. It shelters under leaves, between roots or stones and burrows. These shelters are usually not very far from water. Feeds on mainly soft-bodied invertebrates. A female usually lays 20-40 larvae into water (Larviparous). The complete life history, abundance, activity, and special behaviors of the species is little known. Because S. i. infraimmaculata lives in hotter areas than S. salamandra, it can be assumed that S. i. infraimmaculata is only active in the winter period. The subspecies S. i. orientalis and S. i. semenovi live at higher altitudes (up to 2200 m), so it could be possible that these are active in the summer period. DNA research suggests that the populations of S. salamandra in west Turkey are more similar to S. infraimmaculata than S. salamandra. But according to me, Salamandra salamandra does not live in Turkey, The old records of the species in the west are not confirmed in any re-finding. May be they are based on the old and wrong labeled museum material.
|Created on||Tuesday 15 May 2012|
|Posted on||Sunday 30 December 2012|
|Tags||Hatay, TURKEY / TÜRKİYE|