Other Amphibian of the Week

Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens)

Eastern Newt
Eastern Newt – photo by Brian Gratwicke

Common Name: Eastern Newt
Scientific Name: Notophthalmus viridescens
Family: Salamandridae
Location: United States and Canada
US Locations: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia
Size: 2.5 – 5.5 inches (6.5 – 14 cm)

The Eastern Newt lives throughout the Eastern half of the United States and Southeastern Canada. The Eastern Newt contains a few toxins such as tetrodotoxin. Their color is used to warn predators about eating them. I would not eat them if you find one. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the newt as Least Concern for Extinction.

The Eastern Newt has four different life stages. It starts off as an egg in a pond and shortly hatches to become an aquatic larva. This is where it get’s interesting. The larva can undergo metamorphosis to become either a terrestrial Red Eft or an adult aquatic newt. The terrestrial Red Eft stage lasts for two or three years. This is the best chance to find a newt if you look under logs. They make their to a pond then they change into an aquatic adult. At this stage in life, they can reproduce.

Eastern Newt

Subspecies of Eastern Newt

There are four different subspecies of Eastern Newt; the Red-spotted Newt (N. v. viridescens), Broken-striped Newt (N. v. dorsalis), Central Newt (N. v. louisianensis), and Peninsula Newt (N. v. piaropicola). The differences between the subspecies have to do with the spots on the newt. Red-spotted Newt is the one in the first picture. They have large-red spots that run down it’s body. The Broken-striped Newt’s red spots are fused together to form dashes that run down it’s body. The Central Newt’s have smaller red spots and very little. The Peninsula Newt doesn’t have any red spots, just a ton of black spots. It lives only in the Florida Panhandle.

Eastern Newt
Eastern Newt Eft photo by Jason Quinn

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