Great crested newts feed on a range of aquatic invertebrates, but occasionally tackle large prey items such as adult smooth newts and large dragonflies (6). They are mainly active at night, spending the day at the bottom of ponds or hidden in vegetation (6). Males have an extravagant display used in courtship, it involves a male standing on his front legs in front of a female with an arched back while he waves his tail around. If the female is receptive the male transfers a spermatophore. Eggs are laid in February or March and are protected from predation by having the leaves of water plants folded over them. The appearance of vegetation showing a characteristic 'concertina' effect is a good indication of the presence of this species (6). Great crested newts leave the water in August and September; their behaviour during their period on land is poorly understood (6).
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