Ommatotriton ophryticus (Berthold, 1846)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Caudata > Family: Salamandridae > Subfamily: Pleurodelinae > Genus: Ommatotriton > Species: Ommatotriton ophryticus

Triton ophryticus Berthold, 1846, Nachr. Ges. Wiss. Göttingen, 1846: 189. Syntypes: ZIUG (2 specimens), now in ZFMK; ZFMK 27793 designated lectotype by Böhme and Bischoff, 1984, Bonn. Zool. Monogr., 19: 175. Type locality: "bei Tiflis" (= Tbilisi), Georgia.

Triton vittatus forma ophryticaWolterstorff, 1906, Zool. Anz., 29: 650; Lantz, 1912, Bl. Aquar. Terrarienkd., Stuttgart, 23: 181.

Molge vittata ophryticaLantz, 1912, Bl. Aquar. Terrarienkd., Stuttgart, 23: 181–188.

Molge vittatus ophryticusNikolskii, 1918, Fauna Rossii, Zemnovodnye: 220.

Triton vittatus subsp. ophryticaWolterstorff, 1925, Abh. Ber. Mus. Nat. Heimatkd. Magdeburg, 4: 267.

Triturus vittatus ophryticusTerentjev and Chernov, 1936, Brief Guide Amph. Rept. USSR: 13; Tuniyev, 1994, Russ. J. Herpetol., 1: 143.

Triturus ophryticus ophryticusLitvinchuk, Zuiderwijk, Borkin, and Rosanov, 2005, Amphibia-Reptilia, 26: 317.

Ommatotriton ophryticusLitvinchuk, Zuiderwijk, Borkin, and Rosanov, 2005, Amphibia-Reptilia, 26: 317, by implication.

English Names

Banded Newt (Triturus vittatus ophryticus: Steward, 1969, Tailed Amph. Eur.: 40).

Caucasian Banded Newt (Ommatotriton ophryticus:  Üzüm, Avcı, Olgun, Bülbül, Fahrbach, Litvinchuk, and Wielstra, 2019, Salamandra, 55: 132). 

Northern Banded Newt (Sparreboom, 2014, Salamanders Old World: 266).


Northeastern Türkiye (from the vicinity of Çatalan and Unye) east into northern Armenia and Georgia (possibly into extreme western Azerbaijan), and to the vicinity of Goryachiy Kluch in southern Russia; hybrid population (x Ommatotriton nesterovi) introduced into northeastern Spain. 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Türkiye

Likely/Controversially Present: Azerbaijan

Introduced: Spain


Removed from the synonymy Triturus vittatus by Litvinchuk, Zuiderwijk, Borkin, and Rosanov, 2005, Amphibia-Reptilia, 26: 317, where it had been placed by Boulenger, 1882, Cat. Batr. Grad. Batr. Apoda Coll. Brit. Mus., Ed. 2: 13, and Wolterstorff, 1906, Zool. Anz., 29: 650. Litvinchuk, Zuiderwijk, Borkin, and Rosanov, 2005, Amphibia-Reptilia, 26: 305–323, reported on taxonomic history, geographic variation of allozymes, genome size, and morphology, and recognized two subspecies, Triturus ophryticus ophryticus and Triturus ophryticus nesterovi (now Ommatotriton nesterovi). Literature of this species is intertwined with that of Triturus vittatus. See that account for access to literature. See comments by Tuniyev, 1994, Russ. J. Herpetol., 1: 143–160, and Tuniyev, 1999, Adv. Amph. Res. Former Soviet Union, 3: 50, regarding the status of Triturus vittatus ophryticus. Baloutch and Kami, 1995, Amph. Iran: 103–105, provided an account (as Triturus vittatus ophryticus), although this requires confirmation. Tuniyev and Tuniyev, 2009, Curr. Res. Amph. Rept., 9: 52–58, reported on morphological variation n the northwestern Caucasus Mountains of Russia. Comparison of skeletal muscle protein electrophoresis bands and vertebral counts of Ommatriton ophriticus ophryticus (now Ommatotriton ophryticus) and Ommatotriton ophryticus nesterovi (now Ommatotriton nesterovi) provided by Kutrup and Bülbül, 2011, Turkish J. Zool., 35: 579–584. Mateo, Ayres, and López-Jurado, 2011, Bol. Asoc. Herpetol. Esp., 22: 3–4, discussed  introduced populations in Spain. Raffaëlli, 2013, Urodeles du Monde, 2nd ed.: 137–138, provided a brief account, photo, and map in the sense of including Ommatotriton nesterovi. Arakelyan, Danielyan, Corti, Sindaco, and Leviton, 2011, Herpetofauna of Armenia: 38–39, provided a brief account for Armernia. Kuzmin, 2013, Amph. Former Soviet Union, Ed. 2: 90–94, provided an account for the former USSR. See Ommatotriton nesterovi for relevant literature. Sparreboom, 2014, Salamanders Old World: 266–269, reviewed the biology, characteristics, distribution, reproduction, and conservation of the species. Beşir and Gül, 2019, Herpetol. Notes, 12: 45–51, provided a dot map for Rize Province, northeastern Türkiye. Üzüm, Avcı, Olgun, Bülbül, Fahrbach, Litvinchuk, and Wielstra, 2019, Salamandra, 55: 131–134, provided external morphological characters to distinguish this species from Ommatotriton nesterovi and Ommatotriton vittatus. See Dufresnes, 2019, Amph. Eur., N. Afr., & Middle East: 143, for brief summary of identifying morphology and biology, a range map, as well as a photograph. van Riemsdijk, van Nieuwenhuize, Martínez-Solano, Arntzen, and Wielstra, 2018, Conserv. Genetics, 19: 249–254, discussed the hybrid nature of the population introduced into northeastern Spain. van Riemsdijk, Arntzen, Babik, Bogaerts, Franzen, Kalaentzis, Litvinchuk, Olgun, Wijnands, and Wielstra, 2022, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 167 (107361): 1–9, reported on the phylogenetics and phylogeography. Yaşar, Çiçek, Mulder, and Tok, 2021, North-West. J. Zool., Romania, 17(e201512): 232–275, discussed and grid-mapped the range in Türkiye. Raffaëlli, 2022, Salamanders & Newts of the World: 388–390, provided an account, summarizing systematics, life history, population status, and distribution (including a polygon map). Kalaentzis, Arntzen, Avcı, van den Berg, Beukema, France, Olgun, van Riemsdijk, Üzüm, and de Visser, 2023, Ecol. Evol., 13(e10442): 1–10, detailed the narrow hybrid zone with Ommatotriton nestorovi in Samsun, Balıkesir, Ordu, and Guzeyali provinces, north-central Türkiye, and documented strong selection against hybrids.  

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