Red-spotted Newt / Triton vert
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.
Because of their rough skin, efts are quite distinctive. The Red-spotted Newt is the only
newt in eastern Canada.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There is no evidence of declines in the Red-spotted Newt.