Genetic population structure in the crested newt contact zone in Vienna. (Triturus carnifex, Triturus dobrogicus, Salamandridae)


Janis Czurda

MSc student (Adv. Günter Gollmann)
Unit for Theoretical Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology
University of Vienna


The Triturus cristatus superspecies is widespread in Europe, with three species occurring in Austria. In Vienna, the Danube crested newt, Triturus dobrogicus, is present in Lobau (part of Donau-Auen National Park), whereas the Italian crested newt, Triturus carnifex, is found in the Vienna Woods. Morphological variation in Viennese populations of both species as well as preliminary genetic data are suggestive of hybridization. This project aims at combining morphological and molecular data to determine the extent of hybridization in the contact zone in Vienna. We will apply nuclear genetic markers developed for the analysis of hybrid zones in crested newts, and compare the genetic results with morphological data pertaining to body shape (Wolterstorff Index) and ventral colour pattern. As both species have been declining locally, detailed information about their current status will be of great value for conservation and management of the remaining populations.


© Günter Gollmann