a family of caudate amphibians. The body length may reach 25 cm, of which approximately half is the tail. There are five genera, including Ranodon, which encompass more than 30 species. Members are distributed mainly in North and East Asia; however, one species is found in northeastern Europe, and one in West Asia. They inhabit mountains, to elevations of 4,000 m, as well as valleys, where they are mainly encountered in forests. Some Hynobiidae, such as the Siberian newt (R. sibiricus), live in the water, mainly in mountain streams and springs, and only occasionally climb out onto dry land. Others, such as R. keyserlingi, go into the water only during the mating period.
The Hynobiidae reproduce by external fertilization. The male deposits spermatophores in the water, while the female deposits sausage-shaped sacs containing 7–60 eggs. The Hynobiidae feed on small invertebrates, such as crustaceans, myriapods, arachnids, insects, and earthworms. The USSR has three species: R. keyserlingi, the Siberian newt, and the Ussuri salamander (Ussuri fischeri).
REFERENCESTerent’ev, P. V., and S. A. Chernov. Opredelitel’ presmykaiush-chikhsia i zemnovodnykh, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1949.
Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 4, part 2. Moscow, 1969.
I. S. DAREVSKII