Identification of Newts (Urodeles) in the UK • Three native species one sp. highly protected • Two introduced species well-established Native Newts • • • • Smooth newt Lissotriton vulgaris Palmate newt Lissotriton helveticus Great crested newt Triturus cristatus …also eggs and larvae Alien Newts • Alpine newt Mesotriton alpestris • Italian crested newt Triturus carniflex • Other aliens only rare escapes Report aliens at www.alienencounters.org.uk Smaller Newts (MALES): Smooth Newt Smaller Newts (MALES): Palmate Newt Male does not develop crest – but rather a low ridge running along the back Smaller Newts (MALES): Palmate Newt Tail filament Wide black webbing on hind feet Smaller Newts (MALES): comparing feet Male smooth newts in peak condition can develop skin flaps around hind toes – never as wide as a palmate’s <Male palmate Smaller Newts (FEMALES): comparing Smooth Can look very similar! Palmate Smaller Newts (FEMALES): comparing Smooth Smooth Palmate Underside of foot of female palmate newt Two pale tubercles/nodules Great Crested Newt: adults Larger than smooth newt (up to 16 cm) Male has break in crest at tail base and silver/white stripe Male Female Great Crested Newt Female Great Crested Newt Adult Newt Identification Description Triturus cristatus Lissotriton vulgaris Lissotriton Size (snout to tail) LARGEST! Up to 10cm Up to 9cm (often smaller) Colouring of dorsal side Almost black, granular appearance Brown Brown Crest on male Jagged crest along the back, this dips at the rear of the abdomen with a second crest along the tail Continuous wavy crest along body and tail Very low continuous crest Up to 16cm helveticus Description Lissotriton vulgaris Lissotriton Orange/yellow belly with irregular pattern of black dots Orange belly, Yellowish, sometimes has a few black spots Throat Speckling on throat Speckled, whitish throat Plain pink or yellow Feet Toes have yellow rings (striped appearance) In the breeding season, fringes of skin develop on the toes of the hind feet in males. Webbed hind feet almost black Belly colour Triturus cristatus roundish black spots helveticus (like black gloves) Great Crested Newt: immatures Most immature newts remain in terrestrial habitat but some great crested newts enter the water before reaching adult size Terrestrial Newts Terrestrial Newts Newt Eggs Egg-laying occurs from March-May (and beyond) Newt Eggs Unwrap to identify Great crested newt Smooth/palmate newt Egg Identification Feature T. cristatus L. vulgaris Colour Yellowish white Brownish grey/off grey Size Length Smaller than GCN c. 4.5 mm c. 3mm Oval Rounder than GCN Egg Shape L. helveticus NB: Newly laid eggs (inside the jelly), will be round for all the species. Newt Eggs: developing Newt eggs are harder to identify when larvae developing Newt Larvae Newly-hatched great crested newt larva During the early developmental stages, newt larvae can be difficult to differentiate Newt Larvae Great crested newt Smooth newt Larvae Identification Characteristic T. cristatus L .vulgaris & L . helveticus Gills Often curving forwards & outwards Straight to slightly incurved Tail ‘fins’ White border No white border Numerous black blotches Sometimes fine black speckling Tapers, filament at the tip Tapers, no filament Tail Larvae Identification Characteristic T. cristatus L .vulgaris & L . helveticus Fingers Long, thin fingers No obvious long fingers Eye Golden Iris Alien Newts: the Alpine Newt Female Male Photographs • Photographs used in this presentation are by Ben Driver, Chris Gleed-Owen, Fred Holmes, Phyl King, John Robinson, Will Watson and John Wilkinson • Copyright of all photographs remains with the photographers and ARC. • These photographs should not be used for purposes other than NARRS training without the permission of the photographers.