Italian crested newt

(Triturus carnifex)

A species protected by the Habitat Directive (Annexes II and IV).

The largest crested newt present in Italy, it can grow up to 15 cm in length. It is mainly threatened by the loss of its reproductive habitat due to the intensification of agriculture.


An endemic species of the Italian peninsula and the Balkans, it is found in all provinces of Lombardy, although not uniformly.


These large crested news can grow up to 15 cm in length, are rather robust, and have a long tail flattened vertically. Males have a characteristic crest along their spines during the reproductive period. They prey on insects, molluscs, worms, and larvae. During their aquatic phase, they prey on aquatic invertebrates: small news, larvae, and tadpoles. They reproduce in water, including mating rituals in which the males show off by whipping their tails.


They frequent different types of open habitats as long as they are surrounded by bands of forests or hedges. This species has morphological characteristics that change depending on the life cycle. In fact, it is possible to distinguish a terrestrial phase spent in places such as undergrowth, damp areas, and near ponds, and an aquatic phase during the reproductive period.

Observation in the Torbiera Reserve

They are very rare in the Reserve due to the high numbers of fish.

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