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Alpine Newt in Surrey?

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MTem View Drop Down
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    Posted: 18 Aug 2017 at 4:52pm
Thanks All,

Reported to SARG and it seems most likely it/they came from Beam Brook (about a mile north along the lane) back in the 30's when it was an exotic reptile/amphibian breeding centre. Seems there might be quite a range of exotics in the undergrowth around here! And clearly they've been here a while so unlikely to die out or be easily extirpated even if you wanted to.

Well I will keep an eye out for adults - I had already placed 3 corrugated tin sheets down with logs on top around the new pond for the mice/voles so I will check these now and again. Any advice on this and other places to check for adults?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Caleb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2017 at 12:23pm
Another difference with alpine larvae is that their tail fin is much blunter than smooth/palmate larvae; more of sudden ending with alpines versus a gradual tapering with smooth/palmate. So another vote for alpine from me.

The main worry with alpines in the UK is that they can be an asymptomatic carrier of chytrid.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2017 at 9:25am
+1 for alpine newt both the adult and larva (larvae typically have this greyish appearance and more blotched pattern than smooth or palmate).  You're not far from known populations of alpine newt eg Newdigate in Surrey.  Well worth letting SARG know, as has been said. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PondDragon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Aug 2017 at 8:41am
Photos look fine for Alpine Newt to me. Not sure about the larva. They aren't closely related to any of our native newts, so hybridisation isn't going to be an issue.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2017 at 5:54pm
Not sure they occupy a niche that would be a threat to GCN Suz? GCN would probably just eat them, they seem to do that to the native small newt species.

I guess if I had a concern it would be interbreeding with native newts, though I have never heard this was possible with Alpine newts?


I thought I replied early Mick, but it seems to have got lost in the ether.

SARG may have someone who can visit and positively identify the Larvae. Personally I would want to have a good look at a few of them to be anywhere near sure. Visiting in the breeding season would also reveal plenty of adults if it is an established colony. 

Don't know if Steve or Rick are still active on here, but certainly follow up the report with an email asking SARG for further assistance would be my advice.



Edited by GemmaJF - 17 Aug 2017 at 6:07pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2017 at 3:46pm
About three years ago my brother was told of Alpine Newts in someone's garden pond in the Fylde area of Lancashire. The owners of the pond hadn't introduced them, they just arrived. Now this is an area of dykes/ditches with GCNs, so I guess it's not good news as they could easily spread - in fact must have done. 
Suz
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MTem Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2017 at 2:20pm
Thanks,
 I have reported it to SARG, but unless someone can find it again (I released it nearby) it isn't going to be possible to 'ID in the field'.
Where can I find out where the nearest known colony is?
Mick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2017 at 12:40pm
I would be erring towards Alpine Newt from the images.

There are several colonies in the UK. **Generally** they are not thought to stray too far from local environs so they present little threat in the wild.

I would get in touch with SARG who will probably be very interested and may be able to get someone to give a positive ID in the field



Edited by GemmaJF - 17 Aug 2017 at 12:42pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MTem Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2017 at 10:43am
Thanks Chris - I will do as you suggest if ID is confirmed, and thanks for the photo-posting info.

Also please ignore the pretentious copyright in the corner - I have it applied to all my photos automatically and it's too much hassle to keep disabling it for 'snaps' like these.

Mick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iowarth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2017 at 10:37am
hi Mick

I would await further opinions from other of our members but certainly the top photo in particular looks very Alpine like. A lot harder with larvae but it could be. So far as the adult is concerned it also looks as though there is a distinct blue tinge - another Alpine characteristic.

The larva is very well developed and if you have had the warm sunny weather we have had then they may well have emerged and dispersed. They are also very good at lurking invisibly even with little cover. Best seen at night with a torch when in the water.

Should others here confirm this it should really be reported even though they are far from rare! The appropriate place to do this is http://alienencounters.narrs.org.uk/reporting.php
All the best
Chris
Chris Davis, Site Administrator

Co-ordinator, Sand Lizard Captive Breeding Programme (RETIRED)
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