Journal article

European newts establish in Australia, marking the arrival of a new amphibian order

R Tingley, AR Weeks, AR Weeks, AS Smart, AR van Rooyen, AP Woolnough, MA McCarthy

Biological Invasions | Springe | Published : 2015


We document the successful establishment of a European newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) in south-eastern Australia, the first recorded case of a caudate species establishing beyond its native geographic range in the southern hemisphere. Field surveys in south-eastern Australia detected L. vulgaris at six sites, including four sites where the species had been detected 15 months earlier. Larvae were detected at three sites. Individuals had identical NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 and cytb mtDNA gene sequences, and comparisons with genetic data from the species' native range suggest that these individuals belong to the nominal subspecies L. v. vulgaris. Climatic conditions across much of southern Aust..

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Funding Acknowledgements

Adam Kay, Matt Ward, Aaron Dodd, John Weiss, and Michael Tyler provided invaluable details on the L. vulgaris introduction. Claire Keely, Patrick Honan and Joanna Sumner from Museum Victoria kindly provided tissue samples. RT, AS and MM were supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, MM was supported by an ARC Future Fellowship, and ARW was supported by an ARC Australian Research Fellowship.