Corsican Brook Salamander, Euproctus montanus

The Corsican Brook Salamander (Euproctus montanus), known also as the Corsican Mountain Newt, is a species of salamander belonging to the Salamandridae family. It is native to Corsica, an island in the Mediterranean Sea.

It is found mostly in rocky streams, springs, and rivers in forest and maquis and altitudes of over 600 meters.

It is smaller than other closely related species, such as the Sardinian Brook Salamander (Euproctus platycephalus) and can reach a length of about 5 inches, though a more typical size is 4 inches long. The head is long with a rounded snout and the tail is oval in cross section and as long as the rest of the animal. The parotoid glands featured on the side of the next are unique. The males have spurs on the hind legs and a conical cloaca that points backwards, whereas the females have a cloaca with a ventral opening. The skin is smooth when it’s living in water, but becomes more granular when living on land. The coloration is brown or olive, sometimes with mottling or orange, red, or brown, especially near the spine. It has a paler and fairly uniformly colored underside, occasionally with white flecks, but isn’t spotted on the throat. The only other salamander on the island is the Corsican Fire Salamander (Salamandra corsica) which has unique black and yellow coloration.

It is endemic to the island of Corsica. It isn’t present in the eastern lowland areas or near much of the coast but it can be found at altitudes up to 7,382 feet and is most common in the range of 2,000 to 4,900 feet. It is mostly aquatic, living in ponds, lakes, and the slower-moving portions of streams, often hiding under stones. When on the land, it doesn’t stray far from the water and inhabits maquis and woods, where it can be found in the undergrowth or under fallen logs and rocks.

Image Caption: Euproctus montanus, male. Credit: Lacertaagilis/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)