OTHER NAMES

English: Blind cave salamander; German: Grottenolm.

TAXONOMY

Proteus anguinus Laurenti, 1768, Magdalene Cave, close to Adelsberg Cave, Slovenia. Two subspecies are tentatively acknowledged.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The physique is slender, elongated, and pinkish white, with a protracted, angular, “squared-off” snout; degenerate eyes; a brief, laterally compressed tail; and three pink exterior gills on either side of the pinnacle. The limbs are skinny, with a lowered variety of digits: three digits on the forelimb and two digits on the hind limb. The common dimension of adults is roughly 10 in (25.four cm).

DISTRIBUTION

The species happens in Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, with a captive inhabitants in France.

HABITAT

Olms inhabit subterranean lakes and rivers in limestone caves of the Dinaric Alps, from Slovenia and Italy within the north to Montenegro within the south.

BEHAVIOR

These salamanders are gregarious besides throughout the breeding season, when males are territorial. Generally, they're secretive and infrequently seen, besides in marginal habitats both when feeding or due to flooding.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Olms feed at evening, utilizing chemosensory cues to discover small arthropods and different invertebrates.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Breeding is aseasonal. Fertilization is inside by way of spermatophores after courtship; eggs are giant and yellowish and are laid below rocks and different cowl and guarded by the feminine. The incubation interval is up to six months; larvae develop straight into adults with out metamorphosis.

CONSERVATION STATUS

The species is listed by the IUCN as Vulnerable and in Appendix II of the Convention of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats of 1979. It will not be thought of critically endangered or endangered however faces a excessive threat of extinction within the wild within the not too distant future.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Olms are an ecotourist attraction; they're well-liked within the pet commerce and are utilized in scientific analysis.

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