Site address
(not postal)

Woodcroft Wildspace
Downes Court


N21 3PT

Smooth Newt (Triturus vulgaris)

The adult smooth newt can reach a length of around 9cms. In the summer months the undersides of their tails and their bellies are bright orange. This colour is faded in autumn and winter. However, skin colours can vary and occasionally albinos occur. Young ones have feathery gills which gradually disappear as they mature. Smooth newts are often confused with common lizards but they are smaller, and move a lot more slowly.

Smooth newts feed on worms, insects, slugs etc.

They are found throughout the UK and can be seen from March to October in or near to streams and ponds during the summer. In October they come on to dry land to hibernate until the spring under stones, compost heaps, logs, etc. - in fact wherever the temperature can be a little warmer.

Newts lay single eggs, which they hide under the leaves of aquatic plants, unlike frogs and toads which lay hundreds of eggs in the hope of some surviving to maturity.

When they emerge from hibernation, they head for their breeding pond or streams. They are slow moving, and crossing roads can be a problem for them, especially if there are steep kerbstones. In an attempt to climb they can fall into drains or get trapped in gutters.

If you ever see one in the road please place it out of danger of traffic and pedestrians.

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