Eastern Newt

By William T. Hathaway

Eastern Newt

On a field trip back in 1980 students discovered that the Eastern Newt (Notophtalmus viridescens) had established a large population in a small lake just over the northwestern Pittsylvania County line into Franklin County. We were able to photograph an aquatic adult newt by placing it in a large mayonnaise jar filled with water. Although olive green above with scattered red spots on the back, we can only see the small-spotted yellowish belly in our specimen.

In springtime when the underwater eggs hatch, the newly emerged newt larvae may transform into terrestrial efts that vary in color from red to orange-red or tan. They may roam moist, forested areas during summer seasons and shouldn't be mistakenly identified as lizards, since they have no scales. Efts are part of the life cycle of amphibious newts.


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