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Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network - Réseau Canadien de 
Conservation des Amphibiens et des Reptiles

Notophthalmus viridescens
Red-spotted Newt / Triton vert


Red-spotted Newt

Description
Newts are a distinct form of salamander. Adult and eft Red-spotted Newts have black-bordered orange-red spots. The terrestrial eft can grow to over 8 cm total length, while the aquatic adult reaches 14 cm, including the tail. Efts are more commonly seen than the aquatic adult. The skin of efts is rough, rather than moist like other salamanders.

Confusing Species
Because of their rough skin, efts are quite distinctive. The Red-spotted Newt is the only newt in eastern Canada.

Distribution
The Red-spotted Newt is widespread through much of Ontario, southern Quebec and throughout Atlantic Canada. Outside of Canada, the Red-spotted Newt is found across all of the eastern United States as far west as Texas.

Habitat
Newts are found in a variety of ponds and lakes as well as quiet stretches of streams and swamps. The terrestrial eft stage is found in the surrounding damp woodlands.

Reproduction
Breeding occurs in spring. Newts are known for their elaborate courtship displays. Females lay 200-400 eggs, individually, on submerged vegetation. The eggs hatch in one to two months and the newly born larvae are less than 1 cm in total length. By the end of the summer, the larvae will transform into the terrestrial eft. It takes at least another two to three years for the eft to reach maturity and return to the water. Most newts return to breed in the pond where they were born.

Natural History
The terrestrial eft is carnivourous and feeds on a variety of insects. They can be found under logs or bark on the forest floor. Adults feed on many aquatic organisms, such as insects, small crustaceans and even other amphibian eggs and larvae. Both adults and efts spend the winter on land: adults beneath logs or rocks and efts in leaf litter on the forest floor. In some populations, adults remain in the water over winter. Newts can live for more than 10 years. Newts contain toxins in their skin which are lethal to most predators except Gartersnakes. When threatened by a predator they assume a posture which displays the bright colour of the underside. This presumably warns the predator that they are toxic. This species is also known as the Red-spotted Newt.

Conservation Concerns
There is no evidence of declines in the Red-spotted Newt.