Danube crested newt

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Danube crested newt
Triturus dobrogicus dunai tarajosgőte.jpg

Danube crested newt ( Triturus dobrogicus )

Order : Tail amphibian (caudata)
Superfamily : Salamander relatives (Salamandroidea)
Family : Real salamanders (Salamandridae)
Subfamily : Pleurodelinae
Genre : Triturus
Type : Danube crested newt
Scientific name
Triturus dobrogicus
( Kiritzescu , 1903)

The Danube crested newt ( Triturus dobrogicus ) is a salamander from the family of Real Salamander . It belongs to the genus Triturus and the species group of the crested newts ( Triturus cristatus - "super species"). Until the 1980s it was only treated as a subspecies of the then "only" crested newt Triturus cristatus . The species does not occur in Germany, but it does occur in Austria, among others.


The Danube crested newt is a more delicate, slender newt for crested newt conditions. With a total length of 12-14 (males) and 13-16 centimeters (females), the species remains somewhat smaller than the other crested newt species; in addition, their limbs are relatively short. The dorsal color is often brown rather than blackish and has round, dark spots; Males from the Danube Delta also show a brick-red back color. As with Triturus cristatus , the coarsely granulated flanks have a few white stippled areas. Females sometimes have an orange-yellow longitudinal line on their backs. The ventral side is orange-red to yolk yellow and patterned with smaller, sharply defined dark spots that can also merge to form longitudinal bands. The throat and head area are gray to black in color and covered with white dots.

During the mating season, the males develop a particularly high, deeply jagged, flexible back crest. At the base of the tail it is separated from the skin of the oar tail, but not always as clearly as with other crested newts. In the country costume, the back and tail crests are reduced again.

Occurrence, distribution

Distribution of the Danube crested newt with two sub-areas

The species mainly inhabits the lowlands of the Danube. In the delta of this river, Triturus dobrogicus can be found in richly weed branches of the river with low flow speeds. In the outskirts of Vienna it is the most common crested newt before the Alpine crested newt ; Both territories do not seem to overlap there ( T. carnifex occurs only in the western urban districts; T.cristatus is also completely absent here). The altitude distribution extends to about 600 meters above sea level.

The overall distribution area of ​​the Danube crested newt is relatively small. It initially extends from Lower Austria (roughly from the city of Krems northwest of Vienna) through the Vienna Basin, Burgenland and all of Hungary, as well as parts of the neighboring states bordering Hungary (southern Slovakia , northeastern Croatia , Vojvodina in northern Serbia ) to the west Romania . When the Danube breaks through the Banat Mountains in the Southern Carpathians, there appears to be a gap in distribution. The occurrences only continue further east in the Romanian Wallachia and finally in the area of ​​the Danube Delta up to the Ukraine , so that apparently two more or less disjoint sub-areas exist.

The Danube crested newt could be the core of the legend of the basilisk in the Hausbrunnen at Schönlaterngasse 7 , where it was described in 1212 as a "snake with a cock's comb and feet" - it could have migrated to today's western border of the distribution area in the climatic optimum of the High Middle Ages , and previously unknown in the Vienna area.

Way of life

Little is known about the way of life of the Danube crested newt in particular. In principle, one can assume similar behavior and demands as with the northern crested newt (see there). According to its distribution, however, a greater need for warmth or better adaptation to warmer climatic conditions can be assumed.

Species protection

Legal protection status / national red list classifications (selection)

such as:

  • Federal Species Protection Ordinance (BArtSchV): particularly protected; Red list of the Federal Republic of Germany: (this species does not appear here)
  • Red list of Switzerland: (this species does not appear here)


  • B. Thiesmeier, A. Kupfer: Der Kammmolch - A water dragon in danger . Supplement 1 of the Zeitschrift für Feldherpetologie. Laurenti-Verlag, 2000, ISBN 3-933066-06-9 .


Web links

Commons : Donau-Kammmolch  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. At the end of the 19th century, J. v. Bedriaga in his work Lurchfauna Europa's a picture of a “striped crested newt ” in Bonaparte 's Iconografia - defined by him as the “variety carnifex ” of the Molge cristata - as “the male is more reminiscent of an angry basilisk or one of those enigmatic figures, which adorn Bechstein's well-known natural history . ”Jacques von Bedriaga: Urodela. Tail amphibian . In: amphibian fauna of Europe . tape 2 . University Book Dr. , 1897, 12. Molge cristata Laur. 1768, p. 286 . The image is Charles Lucien Jules Laurent Bonaparte: Iconografia della Fauna Italica per le quattro Classi degli Animali Vertebrati | Publisher = Salvineci & Filippo. Rome 1832-41, Figs. 1 and 2.