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Identification of Newts (Urodeles) in the UK Three native species one sp. highly protected Two introduced species well-established.

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Presentation on theme: "Identification of Newts (Urodeles) in the UK Three native species one sp. highly protected Two introduced species well-established."— Presentation transcript:

1 Identification of Newts (Urodeles) in the UK Three native species one sp. highly protected Two introduced species well-established

2 Native Newts Smooth newt Lissotriton vulgaris Palmate newtLissotriton helveticus Great crested newtTriturus cristatus …also eggs and larvae

3 Alien Newts Alpine newtMesotriton alpestris Italian crested newtTriturus carniflex Other aliens only rare escapes Report aliens at

4 Smaller Newts (MALES): Smooth Newt

5 Smaller Newts (MALES): Palmate Newt Male does not develop crest – but rather a low ridge running along the back

6 Tail filament Wide black webbing on hind feet Smaller Newts (MALES): Palmate Newt

7 Male smooth newts in peak condition can develop skin flaps around hind toes – never as wide as a palmate’s <Male palmate Smaller Newts (MALES): comparing feet

8 Palmate Smooth Smaller Newts (FEMALES): comparing Can look very similar!

9 Smooth Palmate Smaller Newts (FEMALES): comparing

10 Underside of foot of female palmate newt Two pale tubercles/nodules

11 Male Female Great Crested Newt: adults Larger than smooth newt (up to 16 cm) Male has break in crest at tail base and silver/white stripe

12 Great Crested Newt

13 Female Great Crested Newt

14 Adult Newt Identification DescriptionTriturus cristatus Lissotriton vulgaris Lissotriton helveticus Size (snout to tail) LARGEST! Up to 16cm Up to 10cmUp to 9cm (often smaller) Colouring of dorsal side Almost black, granular appearance Brown Crest on maleJagged crest along the back, this dips at the rear of the abdomen with a second crest along the tail Continuous wavy crest along body and tail Very low continuous crest

15 DescriptionTriturus cristatusLissotriton vulgaris Lissotriton helveticus Belly colourOrange/yellow belly with irregular pattern of black dots Orange belly, roundish black spots Yellowish, sometimes has a few black spots ThroatSpeckling on throatSpeckled, whitish throat Plain pink or yellow FeetToes have yellow rings (striped appearance) In the breeding season, fringes of skin develop on the toes of the hind feet in males. Webbed hind feet almost black (like black gloves)

16 Most immature newts remain in terrestrial habitat but some great crested newts enter the water before reaching adult size Great Crested Newt: immatures

17 Terrestrial Newts


19 Newt Eggs Egg-laying occurs from March-May (and beyond)

20 Newt Eggs Unwrap to identify Great crested newt Smooth/palmate newt


22 Egg Identification FeatureT. cristatusL. vulgarisL. helveticus ColourYellowish white Brownish grey/off grey SizeLength c. 4.5 mm Smaller than GCN c. 3mm Egg ShapeOvalRounder than GCN NB: Newly laid eggs (inside the jelly), will be round for all the species.

23 Newt Eggs: developing Newt eggs are harder to identify when larvae developing

24 Newt Larvae During the early developmental stages, newt larvae can be difficult to differentiate Newly-hatched great crested newt larva

25 Newt Larvae Great crested newt Smooth newt

26 Larvae Identification CharacteristicT. cristatusL.vulgaris & L. helveticus GillsOften curving forwards & outwards Straight to slightly incurved Tail ‘fins’White border Numerous black blotches No white border Sometimes fine black speckling TailTapers, filament at the tip Tapers, no filament

27 Larvae Identification CharacteristicT. cristatusL.vulgaris & L. helveticus FingersLong, thin fingersNo obvious long fingers EyeGolden Iris

28 Alien Newts: the Alpine Newt Female Male

29 Photographs Photographs used in this presentation are by Ben Driver, Chris Gleed-Owen, Fred Holmes, Phyl King, John Robinson, Will Watson and John Wilkinson Copyright of all photographs remains with the photographers and ARC. These photographs should not be used for purposes other than NARRS training without the permission of the photographers.

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