Species of the Week: The Eastern Newt

Photo by Nata Culhane

This week is dedicated to the Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens)! Sometimes called the Red-spotted Newt, these amphibians are common at Murphys Point. They go through three life stages — larval, juvenile (when they are known as red eft), and adult. Individuals move from the water upon reaching the red eft stage, and back to the water once fully mature. Pictured here is an adult. It has dull, olive green skin with black-rimmed red spots that warn predators of toxins within its skin. Interestingly, Garter Snakes are immune to Eastern Newts’ lethal toxins. Their warning spots appear at the red eft stage and remain for the newt’s lifetime — close to ten years in the wild! These amphibians are carnivorous — they feed on a variety of insects and aquatic organisms that live in or near their wetland habitat. Like Salmon, Eastern Newts return to the same body of water where they were born to reproduce.

This entry was posted in Friends of Murphys Point, Murphys Point, Murphys Point Provincial Park, Species of the Week. Bookmark the permalink.

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