Mertensiella caucasica (Waga, 1876)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Caudata > Family: Salamandridae > Subfamily: Salamandrinae > Genus: Mertensiella > Species: Mertensiella caucasica

Exaeretus caucasicus Waga, 1876, Rev. Mag. Zool., Paris, Ser. 3, 4: 327. Syntypes: MNHNP (1 specimen) and MZV (1 specimen), by original designation. Thireau, 1986, Cat. Types Urodeles Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat., Rev. Crit.: 23, regarded MNHNP 6477 (formerly 1877.96) as the holotype. Type locality: "altissimis montibus Caucasi, supra limites silvarum, in regione graminum" (= Grass zone above the forests on the higher elevations of the Caucasus Mountains); rendered as Zekarskii Pass by Nikolskii, 1918, Fauna Rossii, Zemnovodnye: 192, and "Zekari Mountain Pass between river Kura and Rioni, Georgia" by Kuzmin, 1999, Amph. Former Soviet Union: 138.

Salamandra caucasicaBoulenger, 1882, Cat. Batr. Grad. Batr. Apoda Coll. Brit. Mus., Ed. 2: 5.

Salamandra caucasiaKnoblauch, 1905, Ber. Senckenb. Naturforsch. Ges., 1905: 89. Incorrect subsequent spelling.

Mertensiella caucasicaWolterstorff, 1925, Abh. Ber. Mus. Nat. Heimatkd. Magdeburg, 4: 244. Thorn, 1968, Salamand. Eur. Asie Afr. Nord: 178.

Salamandra (Mertensiella) caucasicaÖzeti, 1967, Copeia, 1967: 287.

Mertensiella caucasica caucasicaTartarashvili and Bakradze, 1989, Bull. Acad. Sci. Georgia, Tbilisi, 133: 177-179.

Mertensiella caucasica djanaschvilii Tartarashvili and Bakradze, 1989, Bull. Acad. Sci. Georgia, Tbilisi, 133: 177-179. Types: Not stated. Type locality: "in Georgian SSR in the vicinity of mount Tirala (Batumi region)", Georgia. Stated as "Mtirala Mountain, environs of Batumi Town, Adjaria, Georgia" by Tuniyev, 1999, Adv. Amph. Res. Former Soviet Union, 3: 48.

English Names

Caucasian Salamander (Ananjeva, Borkin, Darevsky, and Orlov, 1988, Dict. Amph. Rept. Five Languages: 32; Tartarashvili and Bakradze, 1989, Bull. Acad. Sci. Georgia, Tbilisi, 133: 179; Stumpel-Rienks, 1992, Ergänzungsband Handbuch Rept. Amph. Eur., Trivialnamen der Herpetofauna Eur.: 50; Tarkhnishvili and Gokhelashvili, 1999, Adv. Amph. Res. Former Soviet Union, 4: v).

Caucasus Salamander (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 35).


Northeastern Turkey from east of Giresun to Borzhomi in the Caucasus Mountains of western Georgia, 400–2800 m elevation.


See account by Kuzmin, 1999, Amph. Former Soviet Union: 138–146, who doubted the validity of the currently recognized subspecies. Tarkhnishvili, Thorpe, and Arntzen, 2000, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 14: 414–422, noted that two populations that are likely distinct species are distinguishable, one in central Georgia and another in southwestern Georgia and northeastern Turkey. Başoğlu and Özeti, 1973, Türkiye Amphibileri: 36–37, provided an account for the Turkish populations. Franzen, 1999, in Grossenbacher and Thiesmeier (eds.), Handbuch Rept. Amph. Eur., 4(1): 329–366, provided a review of the biology. Tuniyev, 1999, Adv. Amph. Res. Former Soviet Union, 3: 48-49, discussed the status and distribution of Mertensiella caucasica djanaschvilii. Özeti and Yilmaz, 1994, Türkiye Amfibileri: 51–54, provided an account for Turkish populations. Obst in Engelmann, Fritzsche, Günther, and Obst, 1993, Lurche Kriechtiere Eur.: 73–74, provided a brief account, figure, and map. See photograph, map, description of geographic range and habitat, and conservation status in Stuart, Hoffmann, Chanson, Cox, Berridge, Ramani, and Young, 2008, Threatened Amph. World: 603. Tarkhnishvili, Kaya, Gavashelishvili, and Serbinova, 2008, Herpetol. J., 18: 155–163, provided evidence that two allopatric species are covered by this one taxonomic name, that can be diagnosed by fixed mtDNA differences and habitat variables. Raffaëlli, 2013, Urodeles du Monde, 2nd ed.: 214–215, provided a brief account, photograph, and map. Beşir and Gül, 2019, Herpetol. Notes, 12: 45–51, provided a dot map for Rize Province, northeastern Turkey. 

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