the online meeting place for all who love our amphibians and reptiles
Home Page Live Forums Archived Forums Site Search Identify Record Donate Projects Links
Forum Home Forum Home > Herpetofauna Native to the UK > Smooth Newt
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - albino smooth newt
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

albino smooth newt

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
Author
Message
will View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 1761
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: albino smooth newt
    Posted: 10 Mar 2011 at 6:13pm
Hi all
I mentioned an albino smooth newt had been spotted in a garden pond which also had a population of some albino toads last year; just got this photo of it from this spring courtesy of Steve Pash, a naturalist based in the vicinity of the pond, which is in Ruislip, North-West London.

Still curious as to why the same pond has two species showing albinism - also it's an unusual smooth newt as most albinos also still have gills - suggesting a thyroid problem.  This one seems to be a 'true' adult.  Curiouser and curiouser...

Cheers
Will


Back to Top
will View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 1761
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2011 at 5:27pm
a couple more I've been sent of the same animal; the one in the hand looks almost golden




Back to Top
Liz Heard View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Location: South West
Status: Offline
Points: 1257
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Liz Heard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Mar 2011 at 6:35pm
great find and pix will.


ive read about this (or certainly a similar home counties) garden pond before. a few years ago there was an article/pix in the BHS journal on its toad and newt albinos.

sorry, no i cant direct you to it. i only borrowed the publication from a mate.

unusual occurrence isnt it? i wouldnt know whats driving it though!
if it IS the same pond, are the nos of albinos increasing i wonder?

thanks a lot for posting this very interesting item!

ben

Back to Top
will View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 1761
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Mar 2011 at 6:06pm
Cheers Ben - I guess the BHS journal could have been referring to the same pond.  I'll see if I can track it down.  
Back to Top
Noodles View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 05 Dec 2010
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 534
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Noodles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2011 at 9:37am
Hi will,
I have seen this a couple of times in Great Crested Newts
before; the newts being pale cream/orange with a more
pronounced orange dorsal stripe and a slight
'transparency' to the skin. Your Smooth newt (in hand)
looks identical in colouration to the GCNs I've seen.

They are thought to be amelanistic (or lacking the
ability to produce melanin pigments). It is generally
considered to be genetic but may also be environmental or
chemical (pollution). Thus your two in one pond, the
question is which. As with true albinism in Smooth newts
you would expect to see signs of neoteny due (as you say)
to the corruption of the glands associated with thyroxine
production.

Either way rare and/or perhaps localised in origin
Cheers
Rob
Back to Top
Noodles View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 05 Dec 2010
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 534
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Noodles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2011 at 9:50am
P.S. red frogs are generally considered amelanistic and
this is associated with inbreeding and genetic isolation
(as i'm sure you know). This may be worth consideration if
an urban/isolated population of newts...Just a possible
theory, don't roast me for it   
Back to Top
administrator View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group


Joined: 01 Jan 2007
Status: Offline
Points: 10
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2011 at 5:19pm
Originally posted by Scale Scale wrote:

P.S. red frogs are generally considered amelanistic and
this is associated with inbreeding and genetic isolation
(as i'm sure you know). This may be worth consideration if
an urban/isolated population of newts...Just a possible
theory, don't roast me for it   


Have you got a reference for this? I've been saying for years red frogs were not a good sign in a population, I simply never saw them back in the 70's when frogs actually were 'common'
Back to Top
Noodles View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 05 Dec 2010
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 534
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Noodles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2011 at 6:48pm
Gemma, I'm not sure where i saw it. It must have been in
a well known publication as i thought it was common
knowledge. Likely one of the several Amphibian and
Reptile of Britain books or T Beebees book on Frogs and
Toads. I'll keep my eyes peeled and let you know if i
find it.

Caleb, i'm glad you told be that. I had felt that either
should be possible (i'm certainly no expert on the
subject). What are your thoughts on amelanism in newts?
Have you heard of albinism in GCNs? because i have seen
what i would call amelanism in two specimens (both looked
similar to Will's newt).   

As the man in the orthopedic shoe said: 'I stand
corrected'
Cheers
Back to Top
Noodles View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 05 Dec 2010
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 534
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Noodles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2011 at 3:00pm
Originally posted by Caleb Caleb wrote:


In amphibians, as well as melanin (black or brown) it's
common to have yellow/orange/red pigments.


That was my understanding of what amelanism was (lacking
brown and black [melanin] but exhibiting other pigments),
although i also recognise that true 'albinos' will often
exhibit pigments accumulated from external sources during
adult development(particularly yellow). Elsevier's
dictionary of herpetological terms cites the very same.

My understanding of true albinism is a lack of all
pigments at birth(pink from the blood vessels being the
only 'colour' exception)?

I'll have a look at that book you mentioned.
Many thanks for this
Rob
Back to Top
will View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 1761
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2011 at 10:40am
Wow! thanks for all the conjectures folks!  At any rate, whether it's albino or amelanistic it's a nice looking animal and the red eye suggests there's no dark pigment production I suppose.
I found out that the BHS article was about this very pond; also that albino toads had been recorded around twenty years ago in a pond just around the corner from the current location, so it's a situation with some history.  I have argued that 'odd coloured' amphibians in garden pond situations may be to do with enhanced survival chances in the sheltered environment of gardens rather than in the Darwinian school of hard knocks out there in the wild.  This wouldn't exclude the possibility of inbreeding producing more animals exhibiting colour variants in the first place, but equally a reduction in selection against brightly coloured morphs could heighten this phenomenon. 
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.06
Copyright ©2001-2016 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.078 seconds.