Southern banded newt
|Southern banded newt|
Triturus ophzticus Berthold, 1846
The southern banded newt (Ommatotriton vittatus) is a species of salamander in the Salamandridae family found in Armenia, Georgia, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the Russian Federation, Syria, and Turkey. Its natural habitats are temperate forests, temperate grassland, rivers, intermittent rivers, freshwater lakes, intermittent freshwater lakes, freshwater marshes, intermittent freshwater marshes, caves, arable land, pastureland, rural gardens, urban areas, ponds, aquaculture ponds, open excavations, and canals and ditches. It is threatened by habitat loss.
Rarely, these newts are available in the pet trade. A 20-gallon fish tank can hold six to eight newts. Banded newts will thrive best in a semiaquatic setup, with a land section with a substrate of coco fibre or peat moss, and plenty of hiding places to avoid stress. The water section should have a bare bottom or sand substrate to avoid impaction, with abundant aquatic plants. Banded newts do best at either room temperature or just lower. A varied diet of earthworms, bloodworms, pinhead crickets, white worms, and waxworms is perfect for banded newts.
This species should not be confused with the northern banded newt (Ommatotriton ophryticus), which used to be considered a subspecies of O. vittatus.
- Arntzen, J.W., Kuzmin, S., Papenfuss, T., Degani, G., Ugurtas, I., Disi, A., Tarkhnishvili, D., Tuniyev, B., Sparreboom, M., Anderson, S., Sadek, R., Hraoui-Bloquet, S., Gasith, A., Elron, E. & Gafny, S. 2004. Triturus vittatus. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 9 July 2007.
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