newt

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"Newt able to regrow legs, eyes, intestines and other organs"

Salamanders are found in Asia, North Africa, North America and Europe. They are carnivorous and eat frog eggs, tadpoles, slugs, worms and other insects. Certain types of salamanders display yellow, orange, and other bright color combinations. Females can lay up to 400 eggs. Salamanders live from 2 to 15 years.

5 Unbelievable Facts About Newt!

  • they can breathe underwater
  • They release neurotoxins from their skin to ward off predators
  • Salamander is a type of salamander
  • There are more than 100 kinds
  • They live on land and in water
Marbled salamander triturus-marmoratus-isolated-on-white-background
The distinctive color of the salamander's skin is highly poisonous and precautions should be taken when handling it.

© Eric Isselee/Shutterstock.com

scientific name

Lissotriton vulgaris is the scientific name of one of these animals, the smooth newt. The Greek Lissotriton translates as smooth (lisse) and Triton (Greek god of the sea). The Latin word vulgaris means common. Young salamanders are called efts.

These slippery creatures belong to the salamander family and amphibians.

Red-bellied salamanders are common in Northern California

© Pete/Creative Commons



appearance and behavior

These animals have a long body and tail, and four short legs with four toes. Their features make it look like a cross between a frog and a lizard.

Different types of these animals show different color patterns. The northern crested newt has a brown body with a yellow/orange belly. Adult erythematous salamanders have yellow/green skin with red spots. Palmate salamanders have brown skin with dark spots and a yellow or orange belly.

The size of an animal depends on its type. Typically, they are 3 to 4 inches long. A 4-inch salamander is about half the length of an unsharpened pencil. Some species exceed 4 inches in length. The largest of these is the great crested newt. It can grow up to 7 inches long!

Most of them weigh less than an ounce. A half ounce animal weighs about the same as a AAA battery.

Animals with green or brown bodies can blend into muddy environments to fend off predators. Additionally, the brightly colored belly is a warning that this amphibian is poisonous. This warning deters some predators (but not all) from trying to catch them.

They are solitary animals except during the breeding season. They are shy and like to stay out of sight.

newt vs salamander

See the similarities and differences that distinguish salamanders from salamanders.

similarities

First, both animals can release toxins from their skin. Second, both are carnivores that feed on various insects. Larger types of salamanders and salamanders can eat larger prey. Also, both can have very colorful skins.

difference

One of the main differences between these two animals is that salamanders spend most of their time in water while salamanders spend most of their time on land. Another difference is that salamanders generally have rougher skin than salamanders. All types of salamanders are classified as salamanders, but not all salamanders are salamanders.

Great crested newt or freshwater pond water dragon is an endangered and protected species. Nature protects animals, breeds males
Salamanders have bodies similar to those of most amphibians and salamanders.

©Dirk Ercken/Shutterstock.com

Habitat

These animals live in Europe, Asia, North Africa and North America. Some of them live in specific regions. For example, eastern salamanders live in eastern North America. These animals include red-spotted newts, split-spotted newts, central newts, and peninsular newts. Peninsula salamanders live only on the Florida peninsula.

Different types of these animals have different habitats. Some people spend more time on land than others. Eastern salamanders live in swamps, lakes, streams, and ponds. Others, like the crocodile salamander that lives in Japan, live in swamps, grasslands, and forests.

The animal's webbed feet and paddle-like tail help it navigate its aquatic habitat.

These animals hibernate in winter. They usually choose under logs or under dense vegetation near a body of water. In March or April, these amphibians migrate to the water for their breeding season. Females lay their eggs on vegetation growing in streams, creeks, ponds or lakes.

Salamanders are mostly land dwellers and enter water to breed.

© Tarquin/Creative Commons

diet

These animals are carnivorous and eat various insects. Larger animals can eat larger insects.

Their usual diet includes insects, worms, tadpoles, slugs, frog eggs, and beetles. They come out at night to hunt for food and are able to swallow their prey whole!

Salamanders are also carnivores. They eat the same types of insects that many adult salamanders eat. However, some larger types of salamanders eat frogs and even mice.

Below is a list of foods commonly eaten by salamanders worldwide.

Predators and Threats

Predators of these animals include foxes, snakes, birds, fish and larger amphibians. These carnivores are more likely to eat eggs or larvae than adult adults.

Birds such as blue herons may cross creeks or ponds to scoop their eggs out of the water and eat them. Fish have easy access to their eggs and larvae because they share the same habitat.

Some snakes, such as garter snakes, have evolved and become resistant to the venom released by these animals. So, they can eat adults without any problem.

In some areas, water pollution poses a threat to these animals. In Turkey, construction and deforestation pose a threat to their population in the Black Sea.

The official conservation status of the Lissotriton vulgaris species is Not Concerned. Their populations are classified as stable.

Newt (Lissotriton Vulgaris) - on a grassy rock
Salamanders' bright colors can warn predators of their toxicity.

© Milan Zygmont/Shutterstock.com

Reproduction, Babies and Longevity

The breeding season for these animals begins in early spring. When looking for a mate, the male will swim up to the female and wag his tail. When a female and a male pair up, the male releases sperm and the female swims past it. The eggs are fertilized inside the female. A single female lays as many as 400 eggs on the leaves of plants growing in water. Each egg is slightly less than 2mm in diameter. After laying eggs, neither parent has any relationship with the young.

In 10 to 20 days, the eggs hatch into larvae, also known as tadpoles. The larvae feed on algae and small insects. Not surprisingly, the larvae are vulnerable to many predators, including fish and birds. Within 3 months, they become juveniles, also known as efts. Efts live 2 to 3 years on land. After that, a female whale returns to a creek, pond or stream as an adult who spends most of her time in the water.

Interestingly, this animal has the ability to breathe both on land and underwater. When the animal is in the tadpole stage, it has gills to breathe underwater. Adults have lungs and can breathe on land. Plus, adults can inhale oxygen through their skin when underwater. However, it does have to appear every few minutes!

These animals live from 2 to 15 years. Some of these animals in captivity can live as long as 20 years. These amphibians are prone to skin fungus.

Danube crested newt, triturus dobrogicus, larvae swimming in wetland kelp.
Salamander larvae live in water until they have evolved enough to come ashore.

©WildMedia/Shutterstock.com

population

Although the exact number is unknown, its official conservation status is worry-free. Their population is stable.

Salamander Evolution

Salamanders are a group of aquatic salamanders that have undergone a fascinating evolution over time. They are believed to have originated during the Jurassic period about 180 million years ago. While the exact lineage of the salamanders is not fully understood, scientists believe they are most closely related to other groups of salamanders, such as mud pups and sirens. The evolution of salamanders from terrestrial to aquatic is thought to have occurred over millions of years as the Earth's climate and environment changed. This transition likely involved the development of adaptations such as webbed feet, fins and gills, which allowed the salamander to live and thrive in water.

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It's also important to note that the term "salamander" is often used to refer to members of the genus Triturus, which includes several different species of aquatic salamanders found in Europe, Asia, and North America. The genus Triturus is the best known and most studied genus of salamanders, but other genera such as Pachytriton, Cynops, and Echinotriton are also considered salamanders.

Over the course of millions of years, salamanders have evolved many unique traits that allow them to thrive in their aquatic environment. For example:

  • Webbed feet and fins help them swim more efficiently
  • Gills, which allow them to breathe underwater
  • Ability to regenerate lost body parts

As salamanders continued to evolve, they split into several different species. The most common species of salamanders include European salamanders, American salamanders, and Chinese newts. Each of these species has its own unique characteristics, such as different color patterns and size variations.

In recent years, the salamander species have been threatened by habitat loss and pollution, which has caused their numbers to decline. Conservation efforts are already in place to protect these species and their habitats, but more needs to be done to ensure their survival in the wild.

types and subspecies

Eastern Salamander – Native to North America, the eastern salamander is commonly found in the eastern part of the country, from New York State in the east to the Mississippi River in the west, the Gulf of Mexico in the south, and Canada in the north. Eastern salamanders and their subspecies are known for their bright colors that warn predators of their toxicity. They are known for eating mosquito larvae and reducing mosquito populations in the eastern part of the country.

Smooth Newt – The smooth newt, also known as the European salamander or the common newt, is widespread across Europe and parts of Asia. They are known for their ever-changing skin nature. Adult Smooth Newts have soft, dry skin when they are on land, however, when they are in water, the skin becomes smooth. Their skin color is brown with spots on the underside that can vary from orange to white depending on the habitat. Males are larger than females, and during mating they have brightly colored skin and a crest on their backs. Although they live on land, this newt enters the water to mate. They were introduced into Australia, where there are no native salamander species, as pets, and are also found in the wild.

Yunnan Lake Salamander – Once native to the Yunnan region of China, this newt, also known as Wolterstorff's Newts, is now thought to be extinct. These species are known for living in shallow waters and lakes. They are brightly colored, black bodies with bright orange-red ridges on the vertebrae from the top of the snout to the end of the tail, and bright spots on the sides. During mating season, the tails of male salamanders turn blue. They are also known for having strong childish tendencies. The species is considered extinct because it hasn't been seen since 1979.

Northern Crested Salamander – Native to Europe, including the United Kingdom and mainland Central Europe, spreading through parts of Russia to Spain. These salamander species are quite large and have distinctive features. Their color is dark brown on the back and sides and yellow or white belly with dark skin spots. During mating season, males grow a jagged crested hair on their backs and tails, and they also perform ritual displays to attract females before depositing their sperm on the ground. The females then pick it up with their cloacas. Although this salamander lives primarily in woodlands, they migrate to aquatic environments during mating season.

California Salamander – The California salamander is endemic to the California region and the southern Sierra Nevada. Quiet and distinctive looking, with warty slate-colored skin on the back and bright red skin underneath, they are distinguished from rough-skinned salamanders by the color of the skin under the eyes. The skin contains glands that secrete tetrodotoxin, a more potent neurotoxin than cyanide. Adult males and females enter the waters where they were initially hatched, and after performing a "mating dance," the male mounts the female, rubs his chin against the female's nose, and drops sperm onto the substrate, which the female retrieves Back later through her cloaca. Some males have been known to stay in the water after mating, and some will even nibble at the eggs after the female has laid them.

Rough-skinned salamander – Native to North America, this rather bulky salamander is known for exuding a bitter smell that warns other animals to stay away. Like its other species, the skin of the rough-skinned salamander is highly poisonous and can even be harmful to humans if ingested. They have a round snout, dark brown, olive, or dark brown coarse-grained skin, and are orange to yellow on the underside of the belly, head, legs, and tail. They look similar to California salamanders except for the eyes when viewed from above the head. The eye position of the California salamander appears to be prominent, while the eyes of the rough-skinned salamander are symmetrically placed.

Bull-bellied salamander – Native to the woodlands of California, the bull-bellied salamander is somewhat smaller than other salamanders found in the area. They have similar grainy rough skin that is dark brown on the upper body and bright red on the lower body. Their eyes do not have yellow, which sets them apart from other salamanders in the area. Bull-bellied salamanders are known for their extraordinary homing abilities, which some suspect is due to their superior sense of smell. Male salamanders develop smooth skin and flattened tails during mating season. When threatened, these salamanders raise their heads and tails to display their red color as a warning to predators. Their skin is also highly toxic, enough to kill an adult human if ingested. Even their embryos and eggs are deadly to humans. Unlike males, female salamanders don't reproduce every year.

Texas Salamander – Nophthalmus meridionalis, also known as the Texas salamander or black-spotted newt, is native to the area between southern Texas and northern Mexico. Females of this species grow larger than males, and they are olive green with black spots and can vary from yellow to orange on the underside of their bodies. Prefers living in dense vegetation and submerged habitats in shallow water. They are currently declared a Vulnerable species by the IUCN.

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Alpine Salamander – Native to continental Europe, alpine salamanders are divided into two distinct populations of four subspecies. Adult salamanders grow to about 5 inches and are gray to blue on the back and sides, with an orange underside. Females typically have duller skin compared to adult males, which become more vigorous during mating season. These salamanders can live at high altitudes and in low or flat lands, they are land dwellers but will seek out bodies of water to mate. Their eggs are usually laid and hidden among aquatic plants and leaves to keep them safe. Alpine salamanders are divided into 2 classes and 4 subspecies; eastern and western alpine salamanders; Apennine alpine salamanders, Cantabrian alpine salamanders and Greek alpine salamanders. These salamanders were introduced to New Zealand and the UK, where they were flagged as a threat to native frog and other amphibian populations and spread disease. Although these salamanders are in the Least Concern category on the IUCN Red List, alpine salamander populations are definitely in decline and have disappeared completely from some areas.

Palm salamander – Native to Western Europe, namely the British Iberian Peninsula, the palm salamander is similar in appearance to the smooth salamander. Adults of this species can grow to nearly 4 inches in length and have brown or olive skin with a dark spot on the back that runs from the snout to the tip of the tail and on the sides. The underside is usually a shade of yellow to orange, and the throat is free of spots, unlike smooth newts. Palmids are usually nocturnal and inhabit gardens, swamps, forests, and pastures. They breed in water and are in the Least Concern category on the IUCN Red List.

Iberian ribbed salamander: native to southwestern Europe, namely the Iberian Peninsula and the countries of Morocco. They usually inhabit shallow ponds and streams and can survive in temporary wetlands such as flooded meadows, but prefer permanent water sources. They are light gray to dark brown in color with a distinctive pattern of striking yellow stripes on the back and sides. They have the ability to change colors to blend in with their environment. The sides of its skin are covered with small, sharp barbs that are used to deter predators. They are highly venomous and can secrete a poisonous skin secretion to ward off predators. So do Iberian ribbed newts. During the day, they tend to be darker in color to help absorb heat, and lighter at night to help reflect moonlight. Due to habitat loss and degradation, the Iberian ribbed newt is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List.

Italian Crested Newt: The Italian crested newt lives in the Balkans and parts of Italy and prefers deep bodies of water rich in aquatic plants and free of fish. Adult salamanders are up to 7 inches long. It is a swimming species, which means it can swim freely and independently of the current. It is commonly found in ponds in northern Europe. Their skin is tawny, with black stripes on their backs and yellow edges. It is relatively sensitive to pollutants and toxins, releasing poisonous substances from its skin to deter predators. It is listed as a species of least concern on the IUCN Red List.

Italian salamander: The Italian salamander is found in parts of the Balkans, especially Italy and Albania. They like to live in shallow, fish-free waters where aquatic plants are abundant and can grow up to 6 inches. It is benthic, which means it spends most of its time at the bottom of a body of water. It has tawny skin with a black stripe on its back edged with yellow. Italian salamanders are listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and are protected under various European laws.

Southern Banded Salamander: The southern banded salamander is a small amphibian native to the southeastern United States. They typically inhabit swamps, marshes, and other wetland areas, as well as in slow-flowing streams and rivers. They are semi-aquatic and spend most of their time in water, but can also be found on land during the breeding season. Their skin color is usually brown or gray with darker spots or stripes, which help them blend in with their surroundings. They are not poisonous, but they do have a gland that secretes a mild toxin, which they use as a defense mechanism against predators. They are not considered endangered, but their populations may be affected by habitat destruction and pollution. Overall, the Southern Banded Newt is an important species in the ecosystem, playing an important role in the food chain and helping to control insect and other invertebrate populations.

Southern Crested Newt: The southern crested salamander is found in southern Europe, including Spain, Italy, and Greece. They typically inhabit freshwater habitats, such as ponds, lakes, and streams, and can also be found in moist terrestrial environments, such as wet meadows and woodlands. These salamanders are semi-aquatic and spend most of their time in water but also travel to land to feed and mate. They have distinctly rough skin that can vary in color from brown to green, and they have spikes of skin on their backs, hence the name. Southern crested newts are venomous and use it as a defense mechanism against predators. The conservation status of the southern crested salamander is considered vulnerable. Efforts are being made to protect their habitat and increase their numbers.

Danube Crested Newt: As the name suggests, the Danube Crested Newt lives in the Danube River basin of Central and Eastern Europe. They are found in a wide variety of freshwater habitats, including rivers, streams, ponds and wetlands. Their skin is rough and varies in color from brown to green. They have spiked skin on their backs and toxins to deter predators. The Danube crested newt is considered endangered due to habitat loss and degradation, pollution and overexploitation.

Chinese warty salamander: The Chinese warty salamander is native to China and can be found in a variety of freshwater habitats, such as ponds, streams, and swamps. They have distinctive, warty skin that can vary in color from brown to green, and they have spiky skin on their backs. They are venomous and use it as a defense mechanism against predators. The Chinese warty salamander has been listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Chinese fire-bellied newt: The Chinese fire-bellied newt is native to China and can be found in a variety of freshwater habitats, such as ponds, streams, and swamps. They have distinctive, smooth skin, usually brown or black, with a bright red or orange underbelly, hence the name "fire belly." They are not poisonous, but they do use bright colors as a defense mechanism to warn predators of their bad taste. The Chinese firebellied salamander has been listed as a species of least concern by the IUCN.

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Carpathian Salamander: The Carpathian Salamander lives in the mountains of Central Europe, especially the Carpathian Mountains. They inhabit cold, fast-flowing streams and rivers in deciduous or mixed forest habitats. They are semi-aquatic animals with skin color ranging from black to brown with yellow or orange spots. These salamanders are highly venomous and produce a potent neurotoxin to deter predators. They also have a defense mechanism that inflates their bodies to look bigger and more intimidating. The Carpathian salamander is listed as a species of least concern by the IUCN.

Emperor Salamander: Native to Japan and the Ryukyu Islands, the Emperor Salamander typically lives in moist, wooded areas such as forests and swamps. In the wild, they live in leaf litter, under rocks and in burrows they dig. Emperor salamanders are active during the day and are considered slow-moving creatures. Their skin color varies by location, but is usually brown or black with orange or yellow spots or stripes. The skin of the emperor salamander contains a toxin that acts as a defense mechanism against predators. They are considered a species of least concern by the IUCN. They are still often collected for the pet trade.

Japanese Fire-bellied Newt: The Japanese Fire-bellied Newt is native to Japan and Korea. They usually inhabit slow-flowing streams, ponds and swamps with muddy bottoms and rich vegetation. In the wild, they inhabit aquatic environments and only come ashore during the breeding season. They are known for their bright orange-red underbelly, which is a warning color to predators. Their skin also secretes a poisonous substance that makes them unacceptable to many predators. As a defense mechanism, they puff up their bodies to make themselves appear larger and more intimidating to potential threats. The Japanese firebellied salamander is not currently considered endangered, but their numbers have been declining due to habitat loss and pollution. It is considered by IUCN to be of least concern.

Melanoma salamander: The melanoma salamander, or California black salamander, is native to California, USA. These salamanders typically inhabit coastal streams and rivers, as well as nearby grasslands and woodlands. They are primarily nocturnal and spend most of their time in or near water. Their skin is dark black or brown and covered with small, raised bumps that give them a distinctive knobby appearance. These salamanders are known to be venomous, producing a potent venom that is used as a defense mechanism. Despite this, their conservation status is currently listed by the IUCN as Least Concern.

Sardinian Mountain Salamander: The Sardinian Mountain Salamander is native to the mountains of Sardinia, Italy. They are rock dwellers of alpine habitats and are often found near streams or other bodies of water. They are active at night and are known for being terrestrial, where they spend most of their time. Sardinian mountain salamanders range in color from dark brown to black, with a distinctive orange or red belly. These salamanders are poisonous and use this as a defense mechanism against predators. The Sardinian mountain salamander is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN due to habitat loss and degradation due to human activities.

Corsican Mountain Salamander: The Corsican mountain salamander, also known as Euproctus montanus, is native to the mountains of the French island of Corsica. They prefer rocky, high-altitude habitats such as alpine meadows, scrub and forests. These salamanders are known for their distinctive skin color, which ranges from dark brown to black with yellow or orange spots. They have a toxic skin secretion and are active during the day. Their conservation status is listed as "Least Concern" by the IUCN Red List.

Macular Salamander: The macular salamander (Taricha granulosa) is native to the western United States and Mexico. They are found in forests, meadows and streams, where they hide under rocks and logs. They are known for their bright yellow spots, which are a warning to predators with their venomous skin. They are also active during the day and night, which is unusual for salamanders. They have a defense mechanism, a venomous skin, that protects them from predators. Based on conservation status, they are considered a species of least concern by the IUCN.

Edough Ribbed Newt: Edough Ribbed Newt is native to Europe and Asia. These small salamanders typically inhabit wetlands such as swamps, ponds, and slow-moving streams. They spend most of their time on land but return to the water to breed. They are nocturnal animals and are most active at night. Their skin is smooth and slimy, and they can change color depending on the environment, from brown, green and black. These salamanders are not venomous, but they do have a defense mechanism with glands that secrete a bitter-tasting fluid to deter predators. They are considered by the IUCN to be of least concern.

Himalayan/Alligator Salamander: The Himalayan/Alligator Newt (Tylototriton verrucosus) is found in the Himalayan region of India, Bhutan, and Nepal. They inhabit freshwater streams and rivers, and can also be found in nearby terrestrial habitats such as forests and grasslands. They spend most of their time on land and only return to water to reproduce. Their skin varies in color from dark brown to black, with orange or yellow spots that warn potential predators of their venom. The Himalayan/crocodile salamander is considered Near Threatened by the IUCN.

in the zoo

  • See the diverse animals on display at the San Diego Zoo
  • Explore the Peninsula Salamander at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
  • The Detroit Zoo has an exhibit of these animals not to be missed!

See all 61 animals starting with N

Salamanders are predators that eat beetles, worms, slugs, frog eggs, and tadpoles.

Salamanders belong to the animal kingdom.

Salamanders belong to the phylum Chordate.

Salamanders belong to the salamander family.

Salamanders are covered with scales.

Salamanders live in temperate forests and along river banks.

Salamanders prey on worms, insects, and water snails.

Predators of salamanders include birds, foxes, and reptiles.

Newt's average baby count is 100.

Salamanders can live from 2 to 15 years.

Salamanders are amphibians that live on land and in water. It looks like a cross between a frog and a lizard. Salamanders are a type of salamander. It has webbed feet and a paddle-shaped tail adapted for swimming. This animal can live from 2 to 15 years.

Yes. If someone swallowed a salamander, the toxins in the animal's skin could be fatal.

Yes, but it must be done with care. Salamander toxins can be absorbed through cuts or abrasions in the skin. It is important that owners wash their hands after handling salamanders and avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth. All in all, a person should not touch salamanders unless absolutely necessary.

Some people keep salamanders as pets. Knowing as much as possible about salamander toxins and how they work can help owners enjoy their pet while staying safe.

Yes, but their bites are not painful.

Yes. These amphibians release toxins through their skin as a defense mechanism when they feel threatened.