Other Amphibian of the Week

Red-bellied Newt (Taricha rivularis)

Red Bellied Newt
photo by Ghegenbart
least concern

Common Name: Red-bellied Newt
Scientific Name: Taricha rivularis
Family: Salamandridae
Location: United States – California
Snout to Vent Size: 2.75 – 3.5 inches (70 – 89 mm)
Snout to Tail Size:  5.5 – 7.5 inches (140 – 190 mm) 

The Red-bellied Newt is found only in Sonoma, Mendocino, and Humboldt counties of California. They are found in coastal redwood forests with rocky, cold, moderate to fast streams. The newt is mainly terrestrial until it comes to breeding, then they transform to become more aquatic with loose skin and a more flatter, wider tail. The Red-bellied Newt breeds in the same or close spot every year. After mating, females usually lay around 10 eggs under a rock or stone. The eggs take around 20-30 days to hatch and then undergo metamorphose in four months.

The Red-bellied Newt has a red belly to defend itself. When threatened by a predator, the newt will extend its limbs to the side to show the predator that they are poisonous. Sometimes, they will even kinda stand on two legs, lifting his front limbs and belly off the ground. They have enough poison in them to kill a human adult.

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