All The Facts & Info You Need To Know About Iranian Harlequin Newt
The Iranian harlequin newt is a species of newt that lives in pools and streams of water. During the hot summer months, it lives in its burrows, reducing its metabolic activity.
It is regularly collected as a pet, but climate change is causing more droughts. So, it’s important to learn about this species’ life cycle.
Invasive Fish may Be Eating Adult Newts
Two newt species native to China and Iran are eating Iranian harlequin newts.
Both species come from the ocean and are widespread along the Pacific Coast from California to southeastern Alaska.
Unlike their American counterparts, these newts are not a threat to people or to humans. In fact, these newts are helpful in restoring ecosystems by eating invertebrates that break down leaf litter and release carbon into the atmosphere.
Since Bsal is an invasive species, a decline in rough-skinned newt populations could add significant amounts of carbon to the atmosphere.
Some of these newt species are lethally vulnerable to Bsal, a bacterial infection. While it is difficult to determine exactly which species are affected by Bsal, it has been tested on the rough-skinned newt and the eastern newt.
These two newt species are not native to the United States, but they have been found to be susceptible to Bsal infection. The eastern newt has been known to migrate long distances and many kilometers.
Reproduction In Captivity
The IUCN Red List has classified the Iranian Harlequin Newt (Neurergus kaiseri) as Critically Endangered, which is the highest category of threat to extinction.
The species is highly susceptible to overharvest, and the rate of capture may not be sustainable given the small wild population.
This article will discuss the methods used by researchers at Sparsholt College in Hampshire, England to successfully breed and rear the species.
Reproduction in captivity of Iranian Harlet Newts was observed in three species. The Iranian Harlequin Newt, or Kaiser’s mountain newt, was primarily found in open patches of oak woodland near streams.
Although it is commonly found in this habitat, Neurergus kaiseri also occurs in habitats other than streams. These include man-made water reservoirs and the edges of waterfalls.
The brumation period was nerve-wracking for the newts, and they were observed every day during this time.
After brumation, the newts were placed in growth tubs, which were modified to allow for additional ventilation. The tubs contained damp tissue paper as substrate and were regularly sprayed with water to maintain a humidity of 60 to 80 percent.
Bloodworms and first-instar-banded crickets were provided to the newts. After a week, the newts were placed back into the water dishes.
Habitat In Iran
The habitat of the Iranian harlequin newt is similar to that of the Spanish ribbed newt.
These creatures live in pools or streams, and they hide in rock crevices or under rocks in the dry season. Only found in the Lorestan Province of Iran, the Iranian harlequin newt, also known as Kaiser’s spotted newt, can grow up to five inches long.
During the hot summer months, the newts hibernate in their burrows. The larvae eat amphibian eggs, small crustaceans, and other insects. Their lifespan is six to eight years in captivity.
The Iranian harlequin newt’s habitat is unlike that of most salamander species, which live in humid forests.
In the Zagros Mountains of western Iran, the Iranian harlequin newt has a dry climate and only three or four months of water in a year.
During those three to four months of the year, the newt feeds and mates in its burrow, while it sleeps in its burrow during the dry season. The newt is active during cool times of the day, coming out to feed and mate.
The Iranian harlequin newt lives in streams and pools in the Zagros Mountains and is critically endangered.
Its habitat in Iran is threatened by damming, and if those streams are not restored, the newt could vanish completely. They need water in order to breed, so water is essential to their survival.
When this water disappears, the newt will go into a state of estivation and die off each year.
Threats To The Species
The Iranian harlequin newt is an endangered species of amphibian native to the southern Zagros Mountains of western Iran.
This amphibian lives in streams and pools of water surrounded by arid scrubland. Its habitats comprise four streams in a single catchment area that totals eight thousand square kilometers.
Its larvae feed on insects, small crustaceans, and worms. Although it is rare in the wild, this newt is often collected in pet stores, and the threat of habitat destruction makes it an endangered species.
The Luristan newt is a beautiful, highly sought-after EDGE species that has a striking coloration that warns predators of its toxicity.
It is highly prized in the pet trade and is sometimes priced as high as PS200. Unfortunately, this amphibian is Critically Endangered in the wild and is threatened by habitat loss.
Its number has decreased by 80 percent in recent years due to habitat destruction and illegal trade.
The Iranian government has proposed banning the trade in wild Kaiser’s spotted newt. This proposal was endorsed by a meeting of CITES, an international trade monitoring agency.
In 2006, the IUCN Red List classified the species as critically endangered, so a ban on its trade could protect the species. There is more good news, however.
In November, Iran’s government agreed to ban trade in the species. The fungus Bsal has been linked to many amphibian diseases.
According to a report by Martel and Pasmans, seven European salamander species and two North American species are highly susceptible to the infection.
The eastern spotted newt was also highly susceptible but tolerated the disease. This makes the threat of Bsal to Iranian harlequin newts even more pressing.
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