Red-spotted Newt
Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens

  • Red-spotted Newt in the eft stage of life
  • Red-spotted Newt in the aquatic stage of life
  • Red-spotted Newts in the eft stage of life
Red-spotted Newt in the eft stage of life1 Red-spotted Newt in the aquatic stage of life2 Red-spotted Newts in the eft stage of life3

Common Name:
Red-spotted Newt
Scientific Name:
Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens
Etymology:
Genus:
noto is Greek for "mark", ophtalmus is Greek for "eye". Referring to eye spots found on the back and sides.
 Species:
viridescens is Latin meaning "slightly green". Referring to the overall greenish color of the salamander.
 Subspecies:
viridescens is Latin meaning "slightly green". Referring to the overall greenish color of the salamander.
Average Length:
2.25 - 4.8 in. (5.7 - 12.2 cm)
Virginia Record Length: 
Record length:
5.5 in. (14 cm)

 

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: There are four distinct life stages: 1) egg, 2) aquatic larvae, 2) terrestrial adult (red eft), 3) aquatic adult (newt) *1102,3640, 1008,1009,2130*. The aquatic adult has an olive green to yellow brown dorsum, and pale to yellow belly covered with black dots *1102,3640,1008,3641,882,941,3639,1009,2130*. There are 2 dorsolateral rows of black bordered red spots *2130,3640,1008,3641,941,3639,1009*. It has a laterally flattened tail *1008* and 3 pits on the side of the head *1009*. There is no nasolabial groove *1102* and no costal grooves *1102,1008*. The smooth skin secretes a noxious substance when injured *1102,1009*. They are less than 5 inches in length *1102,1008,3641,882,2130*. The red eft is brick red to orange red in color, with many black dots, and a dorsolateral row of black edged red spots *3640,1008,3641,882,1009*. It has rough skin *1102,1008,1009*, and is 1.5-3.5 inches in length *3640,1008,3641,882*. It has a round tail *1008*, and stays in the red eft stage from 1-3 years. In some areas it metamorphoses directly into the aquatic adult form *1102,3640,1008*. The tadpole is brown green *3640,1009*.

REPRODUCTION: During the winter the male, aquatic newt undergoes morphological changes in preparation to mate. A broad fin develops on the tail, his vent protudes, and black horny growths develop on the inner thighs and tips of the toes *1102,1008,1009,3641*. Mating occurs in the spring with the female picking up the the spermatophore deposited by the male *1102,3641,1009*; the male stimulates the female by stroking her with his chin and cheeks *1008,3641*. The female lays 200-375 eggs, singly, attaching them to vegetation *1102,1008,3638,1009,941*. Hatching occurs in 3-5 weeks *1009,3638,941,1008,1102*. The larva hatch at 7.5 mm in length, and are light green in color *3640,1009*. Metamorphosis occurs in approximately 3 months *1009,941,3641,1008,3640,1102*. There is no parental protection of the young or eggs *3638*. The larva usually metamorphose into the eft stage *3640,1008,1102,3641,1009*. It remains an eft for 1-3 years *3640,1008*.

BEHAVIOR: It is active throughout the year *1102,882*.

ORIGIN: This species is native *2130,882*. This salamander has one of the most complex and variable life cycles of any North American salamander *11305*.

References for Life History

Photos:

*Click on a thumbnail for a larger version.

Highland County Prince William Co, Pulaski Co. Fairfax Co.

 

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Verified in 103 Counties/Cities.


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