Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
Slender salamander with a long tail, that can be autotomised. Total length of males up to 156mm, for females up to 164mm. The length of the tail is about half the total length in juveniles, and about two-thirds of the total length in adults. Head elongated and with large, protruding eyes. Patroids are distinct but small. The front legs, bearing 4 toes, are smaller and slimmer than the hind legs, which bear 5 toes. The body is cylindrical in cross-section and bears weakly developed costal grooves (10-12 on the body), which continue on the lateral sides of the tail. The base color is black, with two golden dorsal stripes, which unite in the dorsal side of the tail. In some populations the dorsal stripes are discontinuous and can be reduced to a number of golden spots. The entire dorsal surface has very small blue spots distributed across it. The venter is dark-gray, and the throat is a lighter gray. Semi-albinistic adults have been found in natural populations, and one fully albinistic larva resides in the collections of the University of Amsterdam. Males can be distinguished from females through the development of a swollen cloaca and swollen upper parts of the front legs during breeding season (Boehme et al 1999). The larvae are of the "stream-type", having a streamlined build and small external gills (Griffiths 1996).