Rough-skinned Newt / Triton rugueux
Even for a newt, the Rough-skinned
Newt has very rough, warty skin. Generally it is light brown to black on top with a yellow
or orange belly. Adults can grow to over 20 cm in total length.
There are no other newts in British Columbia to confuse this species with.
The Rough-skinned newt is limited to the Pacific coast of British Columbia as far north as
southern Alaska. To the south it occurs along the coast to northern California. The
Rough-skinned Newt has the distinction of being found farther north than any other
salamander in North America.
The preferred habitat of the Rough-skinned Newt is ponds, lakes and slow-moving streams.
Terrestrial efts can be found in the
adjacent humid forests.
Breeding generally occurs in the spring. Newts are known for their elaborate courtship
displays. The female lays her eggs one at a time on submerged plants. Within one to two
months the eggs hatch and the larvae transform into efts late in the summer at roughly 5
cm total length. Some larvae may not transform until the following summer, when they may
be over 7 cm long.
Terrestrial efts can be found wandering about on cool, humid days, in search of food. Newts
eat a variety of insects and other invertebrates. 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.
There is no evidence of a decline in Rough-skinned Newts.