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Male Danube crested newt in its breeding colouration

Males grow a spectacular dorsal crest in the breeding season.

(photo: Jaime Bosch)

The DANUBE CRESTED NEWT is a large newt, it can reach 12-13 cm in total length. Its body is blackish brown with black spots or it is uniformly black. There are white pinpoint dots on its black throat and along the sides; its belly is vivid orange with black spots. During the breeding season males develop a tall crest with a serrated edge along their back; and there is a whitish or pearl-grey longitudnal stripe along the lower half of their tail. Females lack the dorsal crest. Its iris is orange. Males are slightly smaller with a more swollen cloaca. Larvae are yellowish with black spots on their tail fin, their iris is bright yellow and their tail ends in a thin thread.

Distibution map by our National Herpetological Mapping Program:

Male and female Danube crested newts

In the breeding season difference between sexes is prominent.

(photo: Judit Vörös)

Danube crested newt portrait

Its head and sides are of black colour

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Ventral colouration of Danube crested newt

On the orange background there are black spots which can merge into large blotches.

(phot: Judit Vörös)

Ventral colouration of Danube crested newt

The throat and tha ventral margin of sides are patterned with tiny white pinpoints.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Throat of Danube crested newt

In throat colouration the plenty of white pinpoints can be dominant.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Hibernating Danube crested newts

At the end of autumn they usually gather in piles and overwinter together.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Male Danube crested newt in breeding colouration

Males grow spectacular crest on their back and their sides are ornamented with tiny white dots.

(photo: Gábor Szelényi)

Female Danube crested newt

Females lack dorsal crest.

(photo: Gábor Szelényi)

Larva of Danube crested newt


(photo: Tamás Péchy)