Did You Know?
- The Eastern (red-spotted) newt is a widespread, native salamander of New York State and eastern North America that can live for 12-15 years!
- Larvae live in water and use gills to breathe. However, juveniles (also known as "efts"), become land dwellers and develop lungs to breathe air. The adults also breathe air, but become aquatic once again.
- The Eastern (red-spotted) newt secretes poisonous toxins, and the eft's bright coloration serves as a warning to predators.
- Eastern newts use specialized chemicals to find food and attract mates.
- Newts help reduce mosquito populations by feeding on their larvae.
What to Watch for:
Larvae: ¼ inch - 1 inch
Eft: 1-3 inches
Adult: 3-5 inches
Larvae: Olive-colored skin and feathery gills.
Eft (juvenile): Bright orange-red coloration with small black dots scattered on the back and a row of larger, black-bordered orange spots on each side of the back. The larger spots resemble an eye, which is the meaning of their scientific name "Notophthalmus". The skin is rough and dry compared to the moist and smooth skin of adults and larvae.
Adult (newt): Overall greenish coloration with small black dots scattered on the back and a row of several black-bordered reddish-orange spots on each side of the back. Males have black, rough patches on the inside of their thighs and on the bottom tip of their hind toes during the breeding season.
Other Signs to Look for:
Egg clusters of 200-400 attached to submerged aquatic vegetation or fallen leaves in the water.
Where to Watch:
Eft: moist forest floors and among leaf litter.
Adult: small bodies of fresh water such as ponds, lakes, marshes, and relatively slow-moving waters with a muddy substrate. They are commonly found in beaver ponds and man-made water bodies.
When to Watch:
Eft: late summer to autumn, usually at night, but also during the day if the ground is moist.
Adult: from spring through fall and sometimes in the winter, feeding under ice.
More Information about Eastern Newts:
Best Places to See Eastern Newts in New York:
- Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, Albany County
- Great Swamp Conservancy, Madison County
- John Boyd Thacher State Park, Albany County
- Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, Chautauqua County
- Sandy Creek State Forest, Oswego County
- The Wild Center, Franklin County
- Tillman Road Wildlife Management Area, Erie County
- West Osceola State Forest - Salmon River, Oswego County