Sorry, still busy and behind, and this will be a brief species of the month…
For June of 2015: The Carpathian Newt (Lissotriton montandoni)!
These little Carpathian newts are conquerors… That’s not really the right word, but I like the image. They are survivors. They appear to have adapted well to humans encroaching on their habitat (compared to most amphibians). Sometimes population densities can get up to 20 newts per meter square, which is pretty great.
Like most newts (for the difference between Newts vs. Salamanders see this post), the Carpathian newt has 3 life stages: larvae, eft, and adult. As the namesake suggests, these little guys range throughout the Carpathian mountains and are frequently found in the Ukraine and Romania.
The Carpathian newt seems to be more active during the daytime hours than any other species of newt (most newt species are moderately nocturnal).
Their breeding season varies based on how high they live in the mountains (groups living higher up the mountains will breed mid through late summer, vs. animals living in the foothills which will breed in late spring through mid summer). Efts usually start to climb out of the water in mid/late summer.
This is a brumating (brumation= mild form of hibernation) species that will brumate late fall through late spring.
All glory to the Carpathian newt!