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Systematic classification and distribution
Species: S. italicus
The Italic geotritone is an endemic species of northern and central Apennine Italy. Its range is included between the provinces of Lucca and Reggio Emilia and the province of Pescara. In the Apuan Alps it goes up to almost 1600 m. For its underground customs and reproduction completely free from water, the Italian geotriton is less affected by the alterations of the external environment than the other Amphibians.
The back is dark brown with patches ranging from brown to reddish, while the lower parts are darker with whitish veins. Unmistakable are the partially palm-shaped legs with squat and short toes. Females tend to be larger than males. Characteristic of the species is skin respiration, since it is devoid of the lungs, and precisely for this reason its presence is linked to environments with conditions of high humidity.
Typically rupicolous, nocturnal and troglophile species. It frequents underground cavities, interstices of the ground, cracks in the rock and, in cool and humid environmental conditions, it can also be found under the heaps of stones, litter, roots and rotting bark. The reproduction takes place on the mainland and the female, after the laying, wraps around the eggs keeping them until hatching, which can happen even after a year. The diet is made up of small invertebrates, which it catches by ejecting the viscous tongue.
Italian Geotritone (photo Francesco Paolo Faraone www-3.unipv.it)
Italian Geotritone (photo www.gransassolagapark.it)