Habitat: known from Hà Giang and Cao Bằng provinces in northern Vietnam; there is a photograph to suggest it also occurs in Lào Cai Province Status: Not Evaluated
A very cool species of Crocodile Newt has been discovered living in northern Vietnam. It was reported back in March by the Herpetology journal that a specimen found tucked away in Tokyo’s National Museum of Nature and Science.
“I was asked by a curator to identify [the new species] and temporarily identified it as Tylototriton vietnamensis (the Vietnamese crocodile newt). However, the morphology was different from the original description of the Vietnamese crocodile newt,” Kanto Nishikawa with Kyoto University stated.
photo: Nguyen Thien Tao
“Because I have never seen the Vietnamese crocodile newt I could not confirm the specimens in Tokyo are undescribed species. In 2012, I had a chance to visit Vietnam and discussed [the specimen] with co-author, Tao Thien Nguyen, and made a conclusion on its taxonomic status, as new species.”
The species was named Ziegler’s crocodile newt (Tylototriton ziegleri) after Thomas Ziegler of Cologne Zoo who works with reptiles and amphibians in Vietnam. The new species is small, with males measuring 5.4 to 6.8 (2 to 2.6 inches) centimeters and females measuring 7.1 centimeters (2.7 inches).
photo: Nguyen Thien Tao
It almost looks as if the crocodile newt was formed in a volcano somewhere, as its rough skin looks just like hardened magma to me. It’s pretty cool that it’s highlighted with bright orange, too (fresh magma?!). With the tips of its fingers sporting the vibrant hue, too, it looks like its got a rockin’ mani-pedi going on. What a cool new species!
Read the full story over at Mongabay who was the first to deliver the story!
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