Eastern Newt

Notophthalmus viridescens

Copyright, John White

The Eastern Newt, also called the Red-spotted Newt, has several different life stages. The adult Eastern Newt can grow over five inches long. It is yellowish-brown or olive colored on top, and yellowish on its belly. It has small black and red spots.

The larval stage is similar in color to the adult. It is smaller and has flower-like gills coming from its head.

There is also an "eft" stage. The eft is found on land and is bright orangish-red or reddish-brown. It grows to over three inches.

Copyright 1999-2002, Ohio History Central

Here is how the Eastern Newt's life cycle works:

First, the adult newts, which live in water, mate in early Spring. They leave the water to do this. Then they return to the water.

Next, the female newt lays eggs (over a hundred), one at a time, on underwater plants. The eggs hatch in a month or two.

The next stage is the larval stage. Eastern Newt larvae, as descrbed above, look like mini-adults with gills. They are only a 1/2 inch long when they hatch.

Copyright, Swantje Willms and Steve Koenig

Eastern Newt larvae eat small aquatic insects and crustaceans.

The larvae leave the water in late Summer and transform into efts. The efts live on land for up to four years. They do not have gills, but like all newts and salamanders, must keep their skin moist. They are most often seen crawling around after a heavy rain.

Efts eat small insects (especially springtails), snails, and other small arthropods.

In Winter, efts will hibernate under logs or stones.

Tom Gula, Amphibians and Reptiles of New Jersey

As they grow older, the efts grow darker. They begin to look more like adult Eastern Newts.

When they are ready, they return to the water and become adults. They will live the rest of their lives in and around the water.

Adult newts eat worms, insects, small crayfish and other crustaceans, snails, mussels, tadpoles, other amphibian larvae, amphibian eggs, and fish eggs.

Copyright, Al Richmond

Copyright, Robert Rold Photography

Eastern Newts live in ponds, lakes, marshes, and quiet streams. Efts are seen in moist woodlands.

The eft stage has poisonous chemicals in its skin so predators will not eat them.

Adult newts and larvae are eaten by fish, turtles, birds, and other predators.

Adult Eastern Newts have four toes on their front feet and five toes on their back feet.

Additional Media

Description
Type
Credit
Eastern Newt Coloring Page
Link to Printable Page
EnchantedLearning.com

Relationships in Nature:

PREY
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Water Flea

Largemouth Bass

Common Cattail

Soil Mite C

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Bluegill

Common Duckweed

Crayfish

Yellow Perch

Pickerelweed

Earthworm

Channel Catfish

Lizard Tail

Snow Flea

Common Snapping Turtle

Yellow Pond Lily

Eastern Lamp Mussel

Belted Kingfisher

White Cushion Moss

Stagnant Pond Snail

Great Blue Heron

Poison Ivy

Bullfrog

Green Darner

Virginia Creeper

Wood Frog

Large Diving Beetle

Bracken Fern

Spring Peeper

Creek Chub

Tussock Sedge

Bluegill

Northern Ringneck Snake

Green Algae

Yellow Perch

Black Crappie

Marsh Bulrush

Tesselated Darter

Yellow Bullhead

Wild Strawberry

Eastern Dobsonfly

Six-spotted Fishing Spider

Wild Rice

Green Darner

Ring-billed Gull

Large Diving Beetle

Eastern Worm Snake

Isopod

Field Cricket

Daring Jumping Spider

Northern Caddis Fly

Relationship to Humans:

Eastern Newts are helpful for controlling populations of insects and other small creatures. Many children enjoy trying to catch them in small streams and creeks.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Chordate
CLASS
Amphibian
ORDER
Caudata
FAMILY
Salamandridae
GENUS
Notophthalmus
SPECIES
Notophthalmus viridescens

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