Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens)

 

On a hike today in the Nescopeck State Park my son Oliver caught this Eastern Newt. Newts are amphibians similar to salamanders, but they are generally more terrestrial. Newts also go through three distinct stages in their life cycle. The first is the aquatic larval stage, a terrestrial juvenile stage, and then once again, an adult aquatic stage.

The specimen above is the terrestrial juvenile stage and it is called a Red Eft. Newts are in this stage for 2-3 years. During this time, they may switch ponds or streams and hence, help spread the species. It was quite slow moving, probably because it is toxic and its bright coloration is a loud advertisement to predators to stay away. We found two more specimens on our hike near the Nescopeck Creek, in an area near the water with lots of Eastern Hemlock trees. The last specimen had more of the adult olive color.

 

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