Identification of Newts

Report
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.

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