is a species of a newt regularly found among the coastal ranges of California.
Taricha Torosa is divided into two subspecies because of distinguishable metamorphic
ancestry between Sierra newt and California newt; their names are derivative
from their geographical locations of Sierra, Nevada, and California ranging
from Mendocino County, Los Angeles County to San Diego County (National Park,
genus Taricha consists of four
species of newts in the family Salamandridae; T. Granulosa, T. Torosa, T. Sierra and T. Rivularis. The physical appearance of Taricha is identical which
requires in-depth observations to determine differences. California newts contain
warty exterior and the bright red-orange-yellow skin beneath. Newts skin color
varies therefore the color of the body and beneath are not reliable. Eye color,
eyelids and placement of the eyes on the head are preferred indicators. T. Torosa are semi-aquatic species whose
physical appearance include patches of yellow on their eyes and lower eyelids
are light in color. The defense posturing of T. Torosa defers from T. Granulosa’s
as their tails remain straight out (California Helps, 2017). In addition, Taricha Torosa are carnivores that
consume small invertebrates such as earthworms, slugs, and snails. Newts feed
similar to frogs projecting sticky tongue to obtain prey. Aquatic newts feed by
sucking the victim in versus projecting sticky tongue.
stages of California newt’s life cycle are larval stage, terrestrial juvenile
stage (eft stage) and aquatic adult. California newt’s experiences metamorphoses
twice with a lifespan of approximately 20 years. The larva is distinguished by their feathery
external gills, does not live the aquatic environment and color is not fully
developed. The larva hatches after three weeks; the size and amount of time in
the larvae stages depends on the food sources and environmental conditions of
their habitat. Subsequently, larva experience metamorphosis developing legs,
tail fins are absorbed, and gills are reduced in exchange for air-breathing
lugs. Upon the completion of metamorphosis, newts leave the water entering in
the eft stage also known as terrestrial juvenile stage indicated by the bright
orange-red color of newts, movement from birth site to another and outcrossing,
genetic diversity. The eft stage last two years before a newt has reached full
adulthood in which returns to its aquatic form for breeding purposes this is
known as the aquatic adult. Breeding season takes place throughout December to May migrating
to aquatic breeding sites in abundant numbers. Newt mating is a dance ritual
between the female and male newts. The female newt will lay their eggs in
ponds, lakes, and slow-moving streams of water attaching spherical egg mass to
submerged vegetation, branches, or rocks below (Espinoza
& Johansson, 2001).
integumentary system of Taricha Torosa is impeccable with a variety of beneficial
components. The skin of California newt is porous to water allowing gas
exchange to occur through the skin allowing respiration to occur without newts
having to rise to the surface of water also allowing hibernation in aquatic
settings. Also, California newts contain granular glands that secrete the
potent neurotoxin tetrodotoxin, a poison capable of obstructing
neuro-communication to muscles. The skin color of newts often indicates that
the species is toxic and is a warning sign to predators (California Helps,
are members of the Pleurodelinae subfamily of the Salamandridae and classified
to the Amphibians (Revolvy, n. D.).
Amphibians are ectothermic four-limbed vertebrates known as tetrapod’s
and descendants of the lobe-finned fishes in which their semiaquatic features
of fin-like legs and primitive lungs, give amphibians the ability to breathe in
aquatic areas with insufficient oxygen. Throughout times their fins evolved
into limbs becoming predecessor for all tetrapod’s (Revolvy, n. D.).
newts make sounds seldom compared to their relative’s frogs and toads. Audible
noises heard from newts are indicators of their activity. Clicks, squeaks and
whistles are the three audible noises displayed by California newts. Clicks are
heard when newts enter an unfamiliar location, squeaks occur when a newt is
picked up and whistles are apart of breeding activity (California Helps, 2017).
Taricha Torosa name California newt is derivative
from their location of the costal ranges of the northwestern hemisphere. California
newts are identifiable by placement of their eyes, eye color and eyelid color.
Taricha Torosa have a lifespan of twenty years entering metamorphose twice
through larval stage and eft stage. Female newts lay an average of seven to
forty-seven eggs below the surface of water. Taricha Torosa members of the
salamandridae family and descendants of lobe-finned fishes through their amphibian
classification. Taricha Torosa assume the ecological role of a predator
benefiting humans by assisting in controlling population of aquatic insects and
mosquitoes (Riemland, 2000).