Eastern Red-spotted Newt

(Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens)

Distribution of the Eastern Red-spotted Newt (from the AR MI Atlas)

The Eft stage of the Red-spotted Newt.

Description: The appearance of the Red-spotted Newt changes throughout its life. Adult, aquatic individuals may reach 6” and have a ground color of very light to very dark olive green. A row of red spots encircled by a black border are found along each side of the body. The underside is bright yellow. Immature, terrestrial individuals are known as “red efts.” They are smaller (3”) and have a ground color of red-orange. The red-spots are more prominent in the eft stage.

Distribution in Ohio: Widely scattered populations. More common in the south and east portions of the state.

Status in Ohio: The Red-spotted Newt may be locally abundant in some areas of the state.

Habitat: Adults inhabit ponds and lakes, both temporary and permanent. Efts live within nearby forests.

Life history: Breeding, egg-laying, and the larval stage all occur underwater. Breeding and egg-laying occurs throughout March-June. Eggs are laid individually, wrapped inside the leaf of an aquatic plant. The larvae hatch 3-5 weeks later, and (most) transform into the terrestrial eft stage in the late summer or fall. The newts may remain as efts for 3-7 years before going through a second metamorphosis into an aquatic adult. The eft stage does not occur in some populations of Red-spotted Newts.

Conservation: The Red-spotted Newt requires a variety of habitats for its complicated life history, including ponds and adjacent upland forests. Pollutants, including herbicides and pesticides are easily absorbed into the skin and toxic to newts. Predaceous fish should not be introduced to ponds with naïve populations of newts.

Last modified:
Thursday, May 05, 2005

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