The Alpine newt is found at lower elevations such as in the Vienna Woods, but is more commonly found in the Alps from around 1,300 m. And it is the only newt to climb up to heights of up to 2,400 m. The Alpine newt can also be found in Ötztal and populates wet meadows as well as forests and forest borders which are not far away Alpine newt from bodies of water.
The female with 11-12 cm is bigger than the around 9 cm large male. The male stands out in particular with its many colours. On the back it has an erect, black-yellow banded bar of skin, which in particular during breeding season clearly contrasts with a blue stripe on the side of the animal. The female is olive green to slate blue on the back. The underbelly of both genders is tangerine with black spots on the edge. They hunt in water for insects and their larvae, small crustaceans, amphibians’ spawn and tadpoles. Reaching sexual maturity at 3-5 years, the animals seek out their spawning waters in March. The males develop their strongly coloured wedding gown to attract females. After 2-4 weeks the larvae hatch. Most young animals leave the spawning waters between August and October. But some animals also spend winter in the form of larvae.
At higher elevations, the Alpine newt often breeds only every two years in order to save energy. As in the mountains the UV radiation increases with the altitude and can cause damage to the larvae, the larvae perceive this radiation and take cover to protect themselves from it.
On the red list of endangered species in Austria, the Alpine newt is rated as endangered throughout Austria. Especially the draining of spawning waters and the introduction of fertiliser into bodies of water present dangers to the Alpine newt.