Tylototriton Zaimeng

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Recently, a team of scientists recorded a new species of salamander — the Tylototriton zaimeng in the Zaimeng Lake of Manipur.

About Tylototriton Zaimeng


  • This had earlier been mistaken for its close relatives — the T. himalayanus and the T. verrucosus.
  • Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the new salamander is a sister species of the T. panwaensis and T. houi found in northern Myanmar and southern China, 
  • Appearance:
    • It was found to be a medium-sized salamander.
    • Its head is massive and wide, with a rounded snout and protruding supratemporal bony ridges, while a well-developed sagittal ridge adorns its crown.
    • The creature’s limbs, short and elegantly formed, did not overlap when adpressed along its body.
    • A wide and unsegmented vertebral ridge ran along its back, accompanied by 13-14 pairs of rib nodules, marking a clear distinction from its kin.
    • It displayed a stunning brown colouration, embellished with dull orange to yellowish-brown markings on its head, vertebral ridge, rib nodules, palms, soles, vent, and ventral tail ridge. Vomerine teeth, elegantly organized in two distinctly curved bell-shaped series, further differentiated this mysterious creature.


Key facts about Zaimeng Lake

  • It is situated on top of Khongtheng mountain ranges.
  • Zaimeng in the Liangmai Naga dialect means “puzzle” or “mystery”.
  • The greater part of the lake is basically a marshy mass of thick grass like weeds, mixed with reeds and green mosses.
  • The estimated height of this lake is 2176 metres above sea level.


Q1) What are Salamanders?

Salamanders are typically characterized by their slender bodies, long tails, and moist, smooth skin. They are found in a variety of habitats, including forests, wetlands, and even some aquatic environments. They belong to the order Caudata and are known for their unique life cycle, which usually involves distinct aquatic and terrestrial phases.

Source: Scientists solve Manipur salamander ‘puzzle’