Have you ever wondered what the difference between a salamander and a newt is? Well wonder no more. If you don’t know, salamanders refer to any species in the order Caudata. The order contains over 700 different species in 10 different families. To explain what a newt is, we have to look at just one of those 10 families – Salamandridae. Don’t be afraid by the name, there are newts in there. The family is split into three different subfamilies or groups. They are Pleurodelinae, Salamandrinae, and Salamandrininae. The subfamily Pleurodelinae contains all the newts! There are 16 different genera in the subfamily and includes the majority of the species in the family. Why isn’t it named Newtidae instead of Salamandridae?
So now you know the taxonomic differences between newts and salamanders but what are the observable differences? Adult newts live more of an aquatic or semi aquatic life style while salamanders generally live more of a terrestrial life style. There are some salamanders that live aquatic life styles such as the Axolotl but the majority of adult salamanders are terrestrial (land loving). Because of the fact that adult newts are more aquatic, newts have tails that are wider and more paddle like and they have more webbing on their feet. Not all newts have these tails and some do live more of a terrestrial lifestyle.