Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description of Notophthalmus viridescens

One of only a few species of Salamandridae that are native to North America. Larvae and adults live in small bodies of water in deciduous and coniferous forests. The larvae have laterally compressed tails, olive colored skin, and feathery gills. The larvae develop into terrestrial ‘eft’s that are up to 4.5 cms long and are reddish-orange with two rows of black-bordered red spots. The eft matures into a breeding adult after 2 or 3 years. The adult is dorsally yellowish- to greenish-brown with black-bordered red spots. Final size up to 12.4 cm. Hind legs enlarge during the breeding season as part of adaptations to amplexus. They produce up to 400 offspring, with a gestation period of up to 2 months. Carnivorous, larvae eat small invertebrates including water fleas, snails, and beetle larvae; efts eat small invertebrates, mainly those found in humus and leaf litter, including snails, spring tails, and soil mites; the adults eat mainly midge larva and other aquatic immature stages of insects. They will live up to 15 years. Predators include birds, mammals, fish, and other amphibians, however many of them are deterred by the newt's toxic skin secretions. Leech parasites also contribute to losses from the population.  Bibliography: Petranka, J. 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Washington, D.C., USA: Smithsonian Institution Press.  
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Description

This salamander ranges from 6.5 to 14 cm in length. Terrestrial N. viridescens ("red efts") are juveniles and thus generally smaller in size (3.5 to 8.6 cm in length); efts are orange-red to reddish-brown in color. Aquatic adults are generally green with two dorsal rows of red to orange spots; the dorsum may also be yellow-brown, olive-green, or dark brown. The venter is yellow. Breeding aquatic males have brighter and redder spots than females (Davis and Grayson 2008), as well as enlarged hind legs, swollen vents and a broadly keeled tail, and black keratinized structures on the inner thigh and toe regions (Behler and King 1996). Terrestrial adults have granular skin, in contrast to aquatic adults, which have smooth mucous skin (Walters and Greenwald 1977).

Subspecies include N. v. dorsalis, N. v. louisianesis, N. v. piaropicola, and N. v. viridescens (Behler and King 1996) . However, phylogenetic analyses have identified clades that do not correspond to the current subspecies designations (Takahashi 2008).

  • Behler, J.L. and King, F.W. (1996). National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. Knopf, New York, NY.
  • Petranka, J. W. (1998). Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington and London.
  • Bommarito, T. (2009). Toxicity of Sediments Containing Coal-tar Pavement Sealants to Notophthalmus viridescens and Ambystoma maculatum, Surrogate Species for Eurycea sosorum. M. S. Thesis. Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
  • Brandon, R. A., Labanick, G. M., and Huheey, J. E. (1979). ''Learned avoidence of brown efts, Notophthalmus viridescen louisianensis (Amphibia, Urodela, Salamandridae), by chickens.'' Journal of Herpetology, 13, 171-176.
  • Brimley, C. S. (1921). ''The life history of the American Newt.'' Copeia, 1921, 31-32.
  • Brodie, E. D. (1968). ''Investigations on the skin toxin of the red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens.'' American Midland Naturalist, 80, 276-280.
  • Brodie, E. D. Jr., and Formanowicz, D. R. Jr. (1981). ''Larvae of the predaceous diving beetle Dytiscus verticalis acquire an avoidance response to skin secretions of the newt Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Herpetologica, 37, 172-176.
  • Davis, A. K., and Grayson, K. L. (2007). ''Improving natural history research with image analysis: the relationship between skin color, sex, size, and stage in adult red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens).'' Herpetological Conservation and Biology , 2, 65-70.
  • Davis, A. K., and Grayson, K. L. (2008). ''Spots of adult male red-spotted newts are redder and brighter than in females: evidence for a role in mate selection?'' Herpetological Journal, 18, 83-89.
  • DuRant, S. E., and Hopkins, W. A. (2008). ''Amphibian predation on larval mosquitoes.'' Canadian Journal of Zoology, 86, 1159-1164.
  • Duffus, A. L. J., Wozney, K., Brunetti, C. R., and Berrill, M. (2008). ''Frog virus 3-like infections in aquatic amphibian communities.'' Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 44, 109-120.
  • Forester, D. C. and Lykens, D. V. (1991). ''Age structure in a population of red-spotted newts from the Allegheny Plateau of Maryland.'' Journal of Herpetology, 25, 373-376.
  • Gage, S. H. (1891). ''Life-history of the vermilion-spotted newt (Diemyctylus viridescens Raf.).'' American Naturalist, 25, 1084-1110.
  • Gill, D. E. (1978). ''Effective population size and interdemic migration rates in a metapopulation of the red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens (Rafinesque).'' Evolutionary Ecology Research, 32, 839-849.
  • Gill, D. E. (1978). ''The metapopulation ecology of the red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens (Rafinesque).'' Ecological Monographs, 48, 145-166.
  • Grayson, K. L., and Wilbur, H. M. (2009). ''Sex- and context-dependent migration in a pond-breeding amphibian.'' Ecology, 90, 306-312.
  • Healy, W. R. (1973). ''Terrestrial activity and home range in efts of Notophthalmus viridescens.'' American Midland Naturalist, 93, 131-138.
  • Howard, R. R., and Brodie, E. D. (1971). ''Experimental study of mimicry in salamanders involving Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens and Pseudotriton ruber schencki.'' Nature, 233, 277.
  • Huheey, J. E.. and Brandon, R. A. (1974). ''Studies in warning coloration and mimicry. VI. Comments on the warning coloration of red efts and their presumed mimicry by red salamanders.'' Herpetologica, 30, 149-155.
  • Hurlbert, S. H. (1970). ''Predator responses to the vermilion-spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens).'' Journal of Herpetology, 4, 47-55.
  • Morgan, A. H., and Grierson, M. C. (1932). ''Winter habits and yearly food consumption of adult spotted newts, Triturus viridescens.'' Ecology, 13, 54-62.
  • Padgett-Flohr, G. E., Bommarito, T., and Sparling, D. (2007). ''Amphibian chytridiomycosis in commercially purchased research amphibians.'' Herpetological Review, 38, 390-393.
  • Park, D., Hempleman, S. C., and Propper, C. R. (2001). ''Endosulfan exposure disrupts pheromonal systems in the red-spotted newt: a mechanism for subtle effects of environmental chemicals.'' Environmental Health Perspectives, 109, 669-673.
  • Park, D., and Propper, C. R. (2002). ''Endosulfan affects pheromonal detection and glands in the male red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Bulletin of Environmental Contaminants and Toxicology, 69, 609-616.
  • Pough, F. H. (1971). ''Leech-repellent property of eastern red-spotted newts, Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Science, 174, 1144-1146.
  • Raffel, T. R., Bommarito, T., Barry, D. S., Witiak, S. M., and Shackelton, L. A. (2008). ''Widespread infection of the Eastern red-spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) by a new species of Amphibiocystidium, a genus of fungus-like mesomycetozoan parasites not previously reported in North America.'' Parasitology, 135, 203-215.
  • Raffel, T. R., Michel, P. J., Sites, E. W., and Rohr, J. R. (2010). ''What drives chytrid infections in newt populations? Associations with substrate, temperature, and shade.'' EcoHealth, doi: 10.1007/s10393-010-0358-2.
  • Roe, A. W., and Grayson, K. L. (2008). ''Terrestrial movements and habitat use of juvenile and emigrating adult eastern red-spotted newts, Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Journal of Herpetology, 42, 22-30.
  • Rothermel, B. B., Walls, S. C., Mitchell, J. C., Dodd, C. K. Jr., Irwin, L. K., Green, D. E., Vazquez, V. M., Petranka, J. W., and Stevenson, D. J. (2008). ''Widespread occurrence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the southeastern USA .'' Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 82, 3-18.
  • Shure, D. J., Wilson, L. A., and Hochwender, C. (1989). ''Predation on aposematic efts of Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Journal of Herpetology, 23, 437-439.
  • Takahashi, M. (2009). Ecological Divergence of the Eastern Newt, Notophthalmus viridescens. Ph.D. dissertation. The University of Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Takahashi, M. K., and Parris, M. J. (2008). ''Life cycle polyphenism as a factor affecting ecological divergence within Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Oecologia, 158, 23-24.
  • Wakely, J. F., Fuhrman, G. J., Fuhrman, F. A., Fischer, H. G., and Mosher, H. S. (1966). ''The occurrence of tetrodotoxin (tarichatoxin) in amphibia and the distribution of the toxin in the organs of newts (Taricha).'' Toxicon, 3, 195-203.
  • Walters, P. J., and Greenwald, L. (1977). ''Physiological adaptations of aquatic newts (Notophthalmus viridescens) to a terrestrial environment.'' Physiological Zoology, 50, 88-98.
  • Webster, D. A. (1960). ''Toxicity of the spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens, to trout.'' Copeia, 1960, 1-2.
  • Yotsu-Yamashita, M., and Mebs, D. (2003). ''Occurrence of 11-oxotetrodotoxin in the red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens, and further studies on the levels of tetrodotoxin and its analogues in the newt's efts.'' Toxicon, 41, 893-897.
  • Relyea, R. A., and Jones, D. K. (2009). ''The toxicity of Roundup Original Max® to 13 species of larval amphibians.'' Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 28, 2004-2008.
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Distribution

Range Description

This species can be found throughout the eastern USA and adjacent southern Canada; west to Minnesota, eastern Kansas, and eastern Texas (Petranka 1998). There are thousands of occurrences.
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Geographic Range

The eastern newt is one of only a few species of Salamandridae native to North America. It is found throughout most of eastern North America, from Atlantic coast to the Great Lakes and south to Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )

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Distribution and Habitat

This species is one of the most widely distributed salamanders in North America, occurring primarily from Nova Scotia to Florida, and also southwest to Ontario. It prefers ponds and lakes with dense, submerged vegetation and relatively undisturbed stretches of streams, swamps, neighboring woodlands and ditches (Behler and King 1996).

  • Behler, J.L. and King, F.W. (1996). National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. Knopf, New York, NY.
  • Petranka, J. W. (1998). Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington and London.
  • Bommarito, T. (2009). Toxicity of Sediments Containing Coal-tar Pavement Sealants to Notophthalmus viridescens and Ambystoma maculatum, Surrogate Species for Eurycea sosorum. M. S. Thesis. Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
  • Brandon, R. A., Labanick, G. M., and Huheey, J. E. (1979). ''Learned avoidence of brown efts, Notophthalmus viridescen louisianensis (Amphibia, Urodela, Salamandridae), by chickens.'' Journal of Herpetology, 13, 171-176.
  • Brimley, C. S. (1921). ''The life history of the American Newt.'' Copeia, 1921, 31-32.
  • Brodie, E. D. (1968). ''Investigations on the skin toxin of the red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens.'' American Midland Naturalist, 80, 276-280.
  • Brodie, E. D. Jr., and Formanowicz, D. R. Jr. (1981). ''Larvae of the predaceous diving beetle Dytiscus verticalis acquire an avoidance response to skin secretions of the newt Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Herpetologica, 37, 172-176.
  • Davis, A. K., and Grayson, K. L. (2007). ''Improving natural history research with image analysis: the relationship between skin color, sex, size, and stage in adult red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens).'' Herpetological Conservation and Biology , 2, 65-70.
  • Davis, A. K., and Grayson, K. L. (2008). ''Spots of adult male red-spotted newts are redder and brighter than in females: evidence for a role in mate selection?'' Herpetological Journal, 18, 83-89.
  • DuRant, S. E., and Hopkins, W. A. (2008). ''Amphibian predation on larval mosquitoes.'' Canadian Journal of Zoology, 86, 1159-1164.
  • Duffus, A. L. J., Wozney, K., Brunetti, C. R., and Berrill, M. (2008). ''Frog virus 3-like infections in aquatic amphibian communities.'' Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 44, 109-120.
  • Forester, D. C. and Lykens, D. V. (1991). ''Age structure in a population of red-spotted newts from the Allegheny Plateau of Maryland.'' Journal of Herpetology, 25, 373-376.
  • Gage, S. H. (1891). ''Life-history of the vermilion-spotted newt (Diemyctylus viridescens Raf.).'' American Naturalist, 25, 1084-1110.
  • Gill, D. E. (1978). ''Effective population size and interdemic migration rates in a metapopulation of the red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens (Rafinesque).'' Evolutionary Ecology Research, 32, 839-849.
  • Gill, D. E. (1978). ''The metapopulation ecology of the red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens (Rafinesque).'' Ecological Monographs, 48, 145-166.
  • Grayson, K. L., and Wilbur, H. M. (2009). ''Sex- and context-dependent migration in a pond-breeding amphibian.'' Ecology, 90, 306-312.
  • Healy, W. R. (1973). ''Terrestrial activity and home range in efts of Notophthalmus viridescens.'' American Midland Naturalist, 93, 131-138.
  • Howard, R. R., and Brodie, E. D. (1971). ''Experimental study of mimicry in salamanders involving Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens and Pseudotriton ruber schencki.'' Nature, 233, 277.
  • Huheey, J. E.. and Brandon, R. A. (1974). ''Studies in warning coloration and mimicry. VI. Comments on the warning coloration of red efts and their presumed mimicry by red salamanders.'' Herpetologica, 30, 149-155.
  • Hurlbert, S. H. (1970). ''Predator responses to the vermilion-spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens).'' Journal of Herpetology, 4, 47-55.
  • Morgan, A. H., and Grierson, M. C. (1932). ''Winter habits and yearly food consumption of adult spotted newts, Triturus viridescens.'' Ecology, 13, 54-62.
  • Padgett-Flohr, G. E., Bommarito, T., and Sparling, D. (2007). ''Amphibian chytridiomycosis in commercially purchased research amphibians.'' Herpetological Review, 38, 390-393.
  • Park, D., Hempleman, S. C., and Propper, C. R. (2001). ''Endosulfan exposure disrupts pheromonal systems in the red-spotted newt: a mechanism for subtle effects of environmental chemicals.'' Environmental Health Perspectives, 109, 669-673.
  • Park, D., and Propper, C. R. (2002). ''Endosulfan affects pheromonal detection and glands in the male red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Bulletin of Environmental Contaminants and Toxicology, 69, 609-616.
  • Pough, F. H. (1971). ''Leech-repellent property of eastern red-spotted newts, Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Science, 174, 1144-1146.
  • Raffel, T. R., Bommarito, T., Barry, D. S., Witiak, S. M., and Shackelton, L. A. (2008). ''Widespread infection of the Eastern red-spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) by a new species of Amphibiocystidium, a genus of fungus-like mesomycetozoan parasites not previously reported in North America.'' Parasitology, 135, 203-215.
  • Raffel, T. R., Michel, P. J., Sites, E. W., and Rohr, J. R. (2010). ''What drives chytrid infections in newt populations? Associations with substrate, temperature, and shade.'' EcoHealth, doi: 10.1007/s10393-010-0358-2.
  • Roe, A. W., and Grayson, K. L. (2008). ''Terrestrial movements and habitat use of juvenile and emigrating adult eastern red-spotted newts, Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Journal of Herpetology, 42, 22-30.
  • Rothermel, B. B., Walls, S. C., Mitchell, J. C., Dodd, C. K. Jr., Irwin, L. K., Green, D. E., Vazquez, V. M., Petranka, J. W., and Stevenson, D. J. (2008). ''Widespread occurrence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the southeastern USA .'' Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 82, 3-18.
  • Shure, D. J., Wilson, L. A., and Hochwender, C. (1989). ''Predation on aposematic efts of Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Journal of Herpetology, 23, 437-439.
  • Takahashi, M. (2009). Ecological Divergence of the Eastern Newt, Notophthalmus viridescens. Ph.D. dissertation. The University of Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Takahashi, M. K., and Parris, M. J. (2008). ''Life cycle polyphenism as a factor affecting ecological divergence within Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Oecologia, 158, 23-24.
  • Wakely, J. F., Fuhrman, G. J., Fuhrman, F. A., Fischer, H. G., and Mosher, H. S. (1966). ''The occurrence of tetrodotoxin (tarichatoxin) in amphibia and the distribution of the toxin in the organs of newts (Taricha).'' Toxicon, 3, 195-203.
  • Walters, P. J., and Greenwald, L. (1977). ''Physiological adaptations of aquatic newts (Notophthalmus viridescens) to a terrestrial environment.'' Physiological Zoology, 50, 88-98.
  • Webster, D. A. (1960). ''Toxicity of the spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens, to trout.'' Copeia, 1960, 1-2.
  • Yotsu-Yamashita, M., and Mebs, D. (2003). ''Occurrence of 11-oxotetrodotoxin in the red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens, and further studies on the levels of tetrodotoxin and its analogues in the newt's efts.'' Toxicon, 41, 893-897.
  • Relyea, R. A., and Jones, D. K. (2009). ''The toxicity of Roundup Original Max® to 13 species of larval amphibians.'' Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 28, 2004-2008.
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Geographic Range

The eastern newt, Notophthalmus viridescens, is one of only a few species in the Family Salamandridae native to North America. This newt ranges throughout most of eastern North America, from the Canadian Maritime Provinces west to the Great Lakes and south to Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida (Dunn and Hagen 1999; Petranka 1998; Richmond 1997). There are four recognized subspecies: the red-spotted newt (N. v. viridescens) of the eastern and northeastern U.S. and Canada, the central newt (N. v. louisianensis) of the central states and the deep south, the broken-striped newt (N. v. dorsalis) of the Carolina coastal plains, and the peninsula newt (N. v. piaropicola) of peninsular Florida.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )

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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Eastern newts occur throughout the eastern United States and adjacent southern Canada; west to Minnesota, eastern Kansas, and eastern Texas (Petranka 1998).

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Aquatic larvae have flattened tails, olive colored skin, and feathery gills. Hatchlings range in length from 7 to 9 mm and have smooth skin that isn't toxic. Eastern newts usually transform into a terrestrial "eft" stage after 2 to 5 months as an aquatic larva. The eft is reddish-orange in color with two rows of black-bordered red spots. It has well-developed lungs, limbs, and eyelids. The eft's skin is dry and somewhat rough and its color is a signal to predators that it is toxic. The eft has a long-slender body with a flattened tail and ranges in length from 3.4 to 4.5 cm. The eft usually grows enough to breed after 2 to 3 years on land. These adult newts are yellowish-brown to greenish-brown and have black-bordered red spots. The belly color is yellow with black spots. The adult newt is slightly moist (just enough to keep its skin from drying out), with rough skin. Its size ranges from 7 to 12.4 cm long and it has small eyes with a horizontal pupil.

Range length: 7 to 12.4 cm.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry ; poisonous

Sexual Dimorphism: ornamentation

  • Behler, J., F. King. 1979, 1998. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. New York: Chanticleer Press, Inc..
  • Lazell, J. 1976. This Broken Archipelago: Cape Cod and the Islands, Amphibians, and Reptiles.. New York: Quadrangle/New York Times Book Company.
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Physical Description

The aquatic larvae have laterally compressed tails, olive colored skin, and feathery gills. The hatchlings range in length from 7 to 9mm and have fairly smooth skin with little toxicity. Although the length of the larval period and the size at metamorphosis varies, they usually transform into a terrestrial "eft" stage after 2 to 5 months. The eft is reddish-orange in color with two rows of black-bordered red spots. It has well-developed lungs, limbs, and eyelids. The eft's skin is dry and somewhat rough and its color is a sign of its toxicity to predators. The eft has a long-slender body with a laterally flattened tail and ranges in length from 3.4 to 4.5 cm. The eft usually transforms into the mature, breeding stage after 2 to 3 years on land. The adult newt varies in color depending on its age and sex, ranging from yellowish-brown to greenish-brown dorsally and have black-bordered red spots. Its ventral color is yellow and black spots speckle the belly. The newt is slightly moist (just enough to keep its skin from drying out), with rough-scaleless skin and indistinct coastal grooves. Its size ranges in length from 7 to 12.4 cm and it has small eyes with a horizontal pupil. During the breeding season, males can be easily identified by their enlarged hind legs, with black-horny structures on the inner surfaces of their thighs and toe tips (used for gripping females during mating), swollen vents, and broadly keeled (high-wavy crest) tails.

Range length: 7 to 12.4 cm.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry ; poisonous

Sexual Dimorphism: ornamentation

  • Behler, J., F. King. 1979, 1998. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. New York: Chanticleer Press, Inc..
  • Lazell, J. 1976. This Broken Archipelago: Cape Cod and the Islands, Amphibians, and Reptiles.. New York: Quadrangle/New York Times Book Company.
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Size

Length: 14 cm

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Adults and larvae inhabit ponds, swamps, and quiet stream pools. Animals may burrow into mud if pond dries. Efts and sometimes adults (i.e., over wintering ones) inhabit wooded areas (terrestrial eft stage lasts 2-7 years). The adults are generally permanently aquatic in northeastern USA, but may leave pond in summer or fall in some areas (e.g., montane Virginia). Eggs are attached to submerged vegetation.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Eastern newts inhabit both deciduous and coniferous forests. Immature larvae and adult newts live in small bodies of freshwater (ponds, small lakes, ditches, and marshes), usually with mud bottoms. Adults can survive on land if their watery habitat dries up; adults may move onto land when the water is low. The juvenile "eft" stage lives in lakeshore and woodland habitats and is often seen in forest litter on rainy nights.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial ; freshwater

Terrestrial Biomes: forest

Aquatic Biomes: lakes and ponds

Wetlands: marsh

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Notophthalmus viridescens inhabits both deciduous and coniferous forests. Immature larvae and the adult newts live in small bodies of freshwater (ponds, small lakes, ditches, and marshes) usually with mud bottoms. Adults can survive on land if their aquatic habitat becomes unsuitable; adults may move onto land during dry periods when the water is low or to rid themselves of ectoparasites. The juvenile "eft" stage lives in lakeshore and woodland habitats and is often seen in forest litter on rainy nights.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial ; freshwater

Terrestrial Biomes: forest

Aquatic Biomes: lakes and ponds

Wetlands: marsh

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Comments: Adults and larvae inhabit lakes, ponds, swamps, and quiet stream pools, especially those lacking predaceous fishes. Efts and sometimes adults (for example, overwintering ones) inhabit wooded areas (terrestrial eft stage lasts 2-7 years). In some areas, such as the northeastern United States, adults may be permanently aquatic, but in other areas they may leave the water in summer or fall.

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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

In some localities, adults migrate annually between terrestrial nonbreeding habitats and breeding ponds. The timing of migrations varies throughout the range, depending on local conditions. Overland movements often are most intense during rainy weather. Mass migrations were observed in February in West Virginia (Green and Pauley 1987); the bulk of migration occurred in late March-late April and late summer in Virginia. Adults tend to be philopatric to their native ponds and site tenacious within ponds (J. Herpetol. 27:149).

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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

The aquatic larvae eat small invertebrates including Cladocera, Gastropoda, and Coleoptera. Efts eat small invertebrates, mainly those found in leaf litter, including Gastropoda, Collembola, and soil Acari. Adult newts eat mainly Chironomidae and other aquatic immature stages of insects.

Animal Foods: insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods; mollusks; terrestrial worms; aquatic crustaceans; zooplankton

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Food Habits

The aquatic larvae eat small invertebrates including water fleas, snails, and beetle larvae; the terrestrial efts eat small invertebrates, mainly those found in humus and leaf litter, including snails, spring tails, and soil mites; the adult newts eat mainly midge larva and other aquatic immature stages of insects. Adults don't have a specialized diet, eating any small invertebrate that they can find.

Animal Foods: insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods; mollusks; terrestrial worms; aquatic crustaceans; zooplankton

Primary Diet: carnivore (Insectivore , Eats non-insect arthropods)

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Comments: Adults and larvae feed opportunistically on small aquatic animals, including amphibian eggs. Terrestrial efts eat small invertebrates; specialize on snails in some areas.

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Associations

Ecosystem Roles

Eastern newts are important predators of small invertebrates in the freshwater ecosystems of eastern North America.

Hirudinea and other parasites attack eastern newts, which sometimes leave the water and begin to bite at and scratch parasites to get them off.

Commensal/Parasitic Species:

  • leeches (Hirudinea)

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Predation

Predators of eastern newts include Aves, carnivorous Mammalia, Actinopterygii, and other Amphibia, but many of them are deterred by the newt's toxic skin secretions.

Known Predators:

  • birds (Aves)
  • carnivorous mammals (Mammalia)
  • fish (Actinopterygii)
  • amphibians (Amphibia)

Anti-predator Adaptations: aposematic ; cryptic

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Ecosystem Roles

Eastern newts are important predators of small invertebrates in the freshwater ecosystems of eastern North America.

Leeches appear to be a major source of adult mortality. Adults will generally flee the water and begin biting or scratching themselves in an attempt to rid their bodies of these ectoparasites, however they're not always successful.

Commensal/Parasitic Species:

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Predation

Predators of N. viridescens include birds, mammals, fish, and other amphibians, however many of them are deterred by the newt's toxic skin secretions.

Known Predators:

Anti-predator Adaptations: aposematic ; cryptic

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Known prey organisms

Notophthalmus viridescens preys on:
Daphnia pulex
Gastropoda
Bivalvia
Acilius
Chaoborus
Dytiscus

Based on studies in:
USA: Michigan (Lake or pond)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • H. M. Wilbur, Competition, predation, and the structure of the Ambystoma-Rana sylvatica community, Ecology 53:3-21, from p. 14 (1972).
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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: > 300

Comments: Represented by many and/or large occurrences throughout most of the range.

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Global Abundance

>1,000,000 individuals

Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but likely exceeds 1,000,000.

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General Ecology

Efts moved over an area averaging 270 square meters in Massachusetts. Apparently moves randomly in shallows of ponds. Larval abundance peaked at over 20/sq m in late spring in a North Carolina pond (Harris et al. 1988).

Eastern newts produce highly toxic skin secretions. The red eft stage is particularly toxic. Unlike most salamanders, efts commonly walk in the open during daytime; if attacked, they curl the body and display their bright colors. Although efts and adults are sometimes eaten by bullfrogs, garter snakes, turtles, and some other animals, many predators find them unpalatable and quickly learn to avoid them.

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Communication and Perception

Eastern newts use both chemical and visual cues to locate food. Adults seem to rely more on visual cues when feeding. Eastern newts also use chemical cues, visual cues, and touch to communicate when breeding.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; chemical

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; chemical

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Communication and Perception

Carnivorous throughout their lives, eastern newts use both chemical and visual cues to locate food. Adults seem to rely more on visual cues when feeding. They don't have a specialized diet, but temperature and water clarity, as well as prey density, can effect the feeding process.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; chemical

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; chemical

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Cyclicity

Comments: Terrestrial stage hibernates in winter, especially in north. Aquatic stages may be active all year, even under ice; may ingest and slowly digest food in winter (Jiang and Claussen, 1993, J. Herpetol. 27:414-419). Migrations correspond with nights of heavy rainfall.

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Life Cycle

Development

Eggs develop for 3 to 8 weeks, depending on water temperature. In early fall, 3 to 4 months later, the aquatic larvae lose their gills, develop sac-like lungs, and emerge onto land as an eft. Two to 3 years later, the eft develops a powerful, flattened tail and returns to the water to breed. Adults remain in their pond or lake for the rest of their life, if the water is permanent, or spend dry seasons on land and move back to the water in the spring (the wet season). Some eastern newt populations skip the eft stage and immediately transform into breeding adults. There are some coastal populations of eastern newts that can breed while still in their gilled, larval form or the eft form.

Development - Life Cycle: neotenic/paedomorphic; metamorphosis

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Development

The incubation of the eggs is somewhat dependent on temperature, but generally lasts from 3 to 8 weeks. In early fall, 3 to 4 months later, the aquatic larvae lose their gills, acquire sac-like lungs (heart transforms from two chambered heart to three, capable of supporting lungs), and emerge onto land as an eft. Two to 3 years later, the eft develops a powerful, flattened tail and returns to the water to breed, as an adult, and remains there the rest of its life, if water is permanent. (Lacking permanent water, adult newts will estivate and overwinter on land and enter vernal ponds in spring to breed.) Some eastern newt populations skip the eft stage and immediately transform into breeding adults. There are some coastal populations of eastern newts that become reproductively mature while retaining a gilled "larval" form (i.e., are neotenic). In other populations, newts enter the eft stage but never undergo a complete second metamorphosis, and enter the water only to breed. Both of these latter two cases may be in response to harsher than average environmental conditions.

Development - Life Cycle: neotenic/paedomorphic; metamorphosis

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Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

Eastern newts have a lifespan of up to 12 to 15 years. However, mortality is high in eggs and larvae.

Range lifespan

Status: captivity:
15 (high) years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
15.0 years.

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Lifespan/Longevity

Eastern newts have a lifespan of up to 12 to 15 years. However, mortality is high in eggs and larvae.

Range lifespan

Status: captivity:
15 (high) years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
15.0 years.

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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 25 years (captivity) Observations: As in other similar species, these newts feature extensive regeneration capabilities (McGann et al. 2001). They can live up to 15 years in the wild (http://amphibiaweb.org/). One specimen kept as a pet was still alive when over 25 years of age (website feedback), which is a plausible anecdote. A female reportedly lived for 15 years in captivity (http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/neparc/). In some populations, sexual maturity can be reached in 1 year, but it usually takes at least 3 years. Some data suggests males may reach sexual maturity slightly sooner than females (http://amphibiaweb.org/).
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Reproduction

The breeding season begins in late winter and lasts until early spring. Females are attracted by a male's spots, which he uses to lure a female towards him. He also makes fanning motions with his tail and emits a pheromone (sexual odor). When a female approaches, the male climbs onto her back and begins to rub his head on her snout. Males then deposit a sperm packet on the bottom of the pond and the female moves forward to pick it up. Males might compete with each other, but it is usually females who choose their mates.

Mating System: polygynandrous (promiscuous)

It can take several weeks after breeding for females to lay their eggs. They lay a few eggs each day in different places. Females lay between 200 and 400 single, jelly-covered eggs on submerged plants each season. As soon as the process is finished, the female newt swims away leaving her eggs to survive on their own. Both males and females reach sexual maturity around the age of 3.

Breeding interval: Eastern newts breed once per year.

Breeding season: The breeding season varies with latitude, beginning in late winter and lasting until early spring.

Range number of offspring: 200 to 400.

Range time to hatching: 3 to 8 weeks.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 3 years.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 3 years.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); oviparous

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)

Sex: male:
2000 days.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)

Sex: female:
2000 days.

Eastern newts do not provide care for their young after the eggs are laid.

Parental Investment: no parental involvement; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female)

  • Behler, J., F. King. 1979, 1998. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. New York: Chanticleer Press, Inc..
  • Lazell, J. 1976. This Broken Archipelago: Cape Cod and the Islands, Amphibians, and Reptiles.. New York: Quadrangle/New York Times Book Company.
  • Petranka, J. 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Washington, D.C., USA: Smithsonian Institution Press.
  • Richmond, A. 1997. "The Red-Spotted Newt" (On-line). The Connecticut River Homepage. Accessed 03/14/06 at http://www.bio.umass.edu/biology/conn.river/newt.html.
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The breeding season begins in late winter and lasts until early spring; at this time, the female is heavy with eggs and actively seeking a male. The courtship involves a unique form of amplexus. Females are attracted by the male's spots and he lures them to him by making fanning motions with his tail and wiggling, causing an enticing odor (a pheromone) to be released. The male positions himself above and forward of the female, gripping her sides just behind her forelegs with his hindlimbs and rubbing her snout with the side of his head. Males will deposit a sperm packet on the bottom of the pond and the female will proceed to pick it up with her cloaca, later using the sperm to fertilize her eggs. Males are often in competition with each other, but rival males who try to break up a pair already involved in amplexus are rarely successful. Sometimes the rival male may drop his sperm packet anyway and the female may pick up the packet when courtship with the other male is over. Male to male courtship is also common. Males tend to eat the sperm packets that are dropped in this case.

Mating System: polygynandrous (promiscuous)

Oviposition can take several weeks, because the female will only lay a few, widely scattered eggs, each day. It's still uncertain whether or not females will lay all of their eggs in a breeding season, however they do lay between 200 and 400 single, jelly-covered eggs on submerged vegetation, each season. As soon as the process is finished, the female newt swims away leaving her eggs to survive on their own. Both males and females reach sexual maturity around the age of 3.

Breeding interval: Eastern newts breed once per year.

Breeding season: The breeding season varies with latitude, beginning in late winter and lasting until early spring.

Range number of offspring: 200 to 400.

Range time to hatching: 3 to 8 weeks.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 3 years.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 3 years.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); oviparous

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)

Sex: male:
2000 days.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)

Sex: female:
2000 days.

Females do not provide parental care after they deposit their eggs. Males do not invest in young past sperm production and mating.

Parental Investment: no parental involvement; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female)

  • Behler, J., F. King. 1979, 1998. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. New York: Chanticleer Press, Inc..
  • Lazell, J. 1976. This Broken Archipelago: Cape Cod and the Islands, Amphibians, and Reptiles.. New York: Quadrangle/New York Times Book Company.
  • Petranka, J. 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Washington, D.C., USA: Smithsonian Institution Press.
  • Richmond, A. 1997. "The Red-Spotted Newt" (On-line). The Connecticut River Homepage. Accessed 03/14/06 at http://www.bio.umass.edu/biology/conn.river/newt.html.
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The timing of migrations and breeding vary throughout the range, depending on local conditions. In the water, males find females engage in courtship (may occur in spring or in both spring and fall). Courtship may or may not involve grasping and holding the female. Breeding males eventually deposit spermatophores on the pond bottom. Females pick up sperm from one or more spermatophores and later deposit up to a few hundred eggs, which are attached singly to submerged vegetation, generally in late winter or early spring, sometimes in summer or fall. Larvae hatch usually within about 2-5 weeks and metamorphose to the aquatic subadult or terrestrial eft stage about 2-3 months later, generally in late summer or early fall in most areas. Efts live on land for up to several years before returning to water and beginning to breed. In some areas, the terrestrial eft stage is omitted. Breeding by gilled, mature adults occurs in some areas.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Notophthalmus viridescens

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 2 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACTCGATGACTATTTTCTACTAATCATAAAGACATTGGCACCCTATATTTAATCTTTGGTGCCTGAGCTGGCATAATCGGCACAGCACTA---AGCTTATTAATCCGAGCTGAACTCAGCCAACCAGGCGCTCTCCTCGGAGAT---GATCAAATTTATAATGTAATCGTAACCGCCCATGCCTTCGTAATAATTTTTTTTATGGTAATACCAGTGATAATTGGTGGATTCGGAAACTGACTTCTTCCTCTTATA---ATCGGAGCCCCCGATATAGCTTTCCCCCGAATAAATAATATAAGCTTTTGACTCCTCCCCCCTTCATTCCTGCTCTTATTAGCCTCTTCAGGCGTAGAAGCCGGTGCAGGAACAGGATGGACTGTATATCCCCCACTAGCTGGCAATCTTGCTCATGCAGGGGCCTCTGTTGACTTA---ACAATTTTTTCCCTTCATCTCGCAGGGGTGTCTTCAATTTTAGGGGCAATCAATTTTATTACTACATCCATTAATATAAAACCTCCATCAATAACTCAATACCAAACTCCCCTGTTTGTATGATCAGTATTAATTACTGCCATCCTCCTACTTCTTTCTCTCCCAGTACTTGCAGCA---GGTATTACAATGCTATTAACAGATCGAAATCTAAACACTACATTTTTTGACCCAGCTGGAGGAGGAGACCCTGTGTTATACCAACACTTATTCTGATTCTTCGGTCACCCAGAAGTATACATTTTAATTCTACCAGGATTTGGCATGATCTCGCATATTGTAACATATTATTCAGCAAAAAAA---GAACCATTCGGATATATAGGGATAGTCTGAGCTATAATGTCAATTGGTTTATTGGGGTTTATTGTCTGAGCCCATCACATATTTACAGTAGACCTAAATGTAGACACCCGAGCCTATTTTACATCTGCTACAATAATTATCGCAATCCCAACCGGAGTAAAAGTATTTAGCTGACTC---GCGACAATACATGGAGGA---TCAATTAAATGAGATGCTGCAATACTATGAGCTCTAGGCTTTATTTTCTTATTCACAGTAGGCGGGTTAACAGGCATTGTACTAGCAAACTCCTCTCTAGATATTGTCTTACATGATACATACTATGTAGTAGCTCATTTTCACTATGTC---CTATCTATAGGTGCTGTTTTTGCTATTATAGGAGGATTCGTACATTGATTCCCTTTATTTTCAGGATACACACTTCACTCAACTTGATCTAAAATCCACTTTGGGGTAATATTCATTGGAGTAAACCTTACATTCTTCCCACAACACTTCCTTGGCCTTGCCGGAATACCACGC---CGATATTCAGACTACCCGGACGCATATACA---CTTTGAAATACAGTCTCATCAATTGGATCACTAATTTCATTAGTTGCAGTAATTATAATAATATTCATTATTTGAGAAGCATTTGCATCTAAACGCGAAGTA---ATAACAACAGAACTTACATCTACAAAT
-- end --

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Notophthalmus viridescens

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2004

Assessor/s
Geoffrey Hammerson

Reviewer/s
Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
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There is no special status listed for eastern newts. Populations have declined as a result of habitat degradation, but they are still common in many parts of their range. Adult newts will inhabit man-made bodies of water, including those with fish, as their toxic skin may help to reduce their risk of being eaten by fish.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

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There is no special status listed for Notophthalmus viridescens. Newts have declined in the face of habitat degradation by humans, but remain locally common in parts of their range. Adult newts will readily colonize man-made bodies of water, even in the presence of predatory fish, as their toxic skin secretions may reduce fish predation. Researchers do believe, however, that eastern newts may be suffering at higher than normal rates from diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, and fungi, due to a variety of environmental problems including pollution. Acid precipitation and deforestation may be other cause of depleted populations.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Large range in eastern North America and adjacent southern Canada; abundant; many secure populations.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Broad. Generalist or community with all key requirements common.

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Population

Population
It is widespread and abundant. It might have increased as creation of farm ponds augmented available habitat (Petranka 1998). Could be increasing with increasing beaver populations (Petranka 1998).

Population Trend
Stable
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

N. viridescens has a complex life cycle, with four distinct stages: egg, aquatic larva, red eft (terrestrial juvenile), and adult (Petranka 1998). The breeding season lasts from late winter to early spring (Behler and King 1996). A single batch of 200-400 eggs is typically laid by the females on submerged vegetation, with an incubation period of 3-8 weeks (Behler and King 1996). On hatching, a larva measures about 8 mm in size (Behler and King 1996). Larvae may develop along one of three possible pathways: metamorphosis via a terrestrial juvenile (eft) stage to an aquatic lunged adult; metamorphosis directly to an aquatic lunged adult; or paedomorphosis (maturation directly to an aquatic gilled adult with no metamorphosis) (Takahashi 2008; Takahashi and Parris 2008). Generally, following metamorphosis from the aquatic larval stage, juveniles disperse away from their home ponds and spend three to seven years as terrestrial red efts (Forester and Lykens 1991). Efts return to aquatic habitats to reproduce when they become sexually mature, and undergo a second transformation to a more aquatic adult form during breeding season. Aquatic adults become green in coloration, have smoother, mucous skin and develop large tail fins, particularly pronounced in breeding males (Gage 1891; Gill 1978a). The change from terrestrial phenotype to aquatic phenotype may take days to weeks (Grayson and Wilbur 2009). After breeding season is over, adults may remain aquatic or may return to terrestrial habitat; if they disperse terrestrially, the skin texture and color changes and the tail fin reduces in size (Brimley 1921; Walters and Greenwald 1977; Davis and Grayson 2007).

Terrestrial newts can migrate across both open and forested habitat (Healy 1973); the use of fluorescent tracking powder showed that efts meandered more while adult newts were found to make more linear trails away from the pond (Roe and Grayson 2008). After periods of rain, concentrations of efts in forest regions may be high (Behler and King 1996). Terrestrial efts and adults make use of a variety of surface or near-surface microhabitats, mostly under forest debris such as leaves, logs, and branches; they are never found in subterranean habitat or mammal burrows (Roe and Grayson 2008). Emergence from refuges and continued movement depend on having a moist surface environment (Roe and Grayson 2008). Distance traveled by efts or adults depended on the humidity and precipitation levels of the previous day (Roe and Grayson 2008). Some postbreeding newts were found to travel over 50 m in 24 hours (Roe and Grayson 2008). When out and active, individuals tracked by using fluorescent powder were often found to have climbed up ferns and logs, probably to forage (Roe and Grayson 2008).

The adult diet includes worms, insects, small crustaceans, amphibian eggs and larvae (Behler and King 1996). Feeding occurs year-round (Morgan and Grierson 1932). Adults were found to be capable of consuming an average of 316 mosquito larvae per day (DuRant and Hopkins 2008).

Cutaneous secretions of toxic substances (tetrodotoxin and its analogues 6-epiTTX and 11-oxoTTX) serve as a defense mechanism from potential predators (Webster 1960; Brodie 1968; Hurlburt 1970; Pough 1971; Brandon et al. 1979; Brodie and Formanowicz 1981; Shure et al. 1989). Although the bright coloration of juveniles (red efts) is presumed to be aposematic, one study supported that conclusion by finding that efts were more toxic than non-aposematic adults (Wakely et al. 1966), but a different study found that efts and non-aposematic adults were equally toxic (Yotsu-Yamashita and Mebs 2003). It is thought that the nontoxic plethodontid salamander Pseudotriton ruber, which is bright red, may be mimicking the coloration of efts (Howard and Brodie 1971; Huheey and Brandon 1974).

  • Behler, J.L. and King, F.W. (1996). National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. Knopf, New York, NY.
  • Petranka, J. W. (1998). Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington and London.
  • Bommarito, T. (2009). Toxicity of Sediments Containing Coal-tar Pavement Sealants to Notophthalmus viridescens and Ambystoma maculatum, Surrogate Species for Eurycea sosorum. M. S. Thesis. Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
  • Brandon, R. A., Labanick, G. M., and Huheey, J. E. (1979). ''Learned avoidence of brown efts, Notophthalmus viridescen louisianensis (Amphibia, Urodela, Salamandridae), by chickens.'' Journal of Herpetology, 13, 171-176.
  • Brimley, C. S. (1921). ''The life history of the American Newt.'' Copeia, 1921, 31-32.
  • Brodie, E. D. (1968). ''Investigations on the skin toxin of the red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens.'' American Midland Naturalist, 80, 276-280.
  • Brodie, E. D. Jr., and Formanowicz, D. R. Jr. (1981). ''Larvae of the predaceous diving beetle Dytiscus verticalis acquire an avoidance response to skin secretions of the newt Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Herpetologica, 37, 172-176.
  • Davis, A. K., and Grayson, K. L. (2007). ''Improving natural history research with image analysis: the relationship between skin color, sex, size, and stage in adult red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens).'' Herpetological Conservation and Biology , 2, 65-70.
  • Davis, A. K., and Grayson, K. L. (2008). ''Spots of adult male red-spotted newts are redder and brighter than in females: evidence for a role in mate selection?'' Herpetological Journal, 18, 83-89.
  • DuRant, S. E., and Hopkins, W. A. (2008). ''Amphibian predation on larval mosquitoes.'' Canadian Journal of Zoology, 86, 1159-1164.
  • Duffus, A. L. J., Wozney, K., Brunetti, C. R., and Berrill, M. (2008). ''Frog virus 3-like infections in aquatic amphibian communities.'' Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 44, 109-120.
  • Forester, D. C. and Lykens, D. V. (1991). ''Age structure in a population of red-spotted newts from the Allegheny Plateau of Maryland.'' Journal of Herpetology, 25, 373-376.
  • Gage, S. H. (1891). ''Life-history of the vermilion-spotted newt (Diemyctylus viridescens Raf.).'' American Naturalist, 25, 1084-1110.
  • Gill, D. E. (1978). ''Effective population size and interdemic migration rates in a metapopulation of the red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens (Rafinesque).'' Evolutionary Ecology Research, 32, 839-849.
  • Gill, D. E. (1978). ''The metapopulation ecology of the red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens (Rafinesque).'' Ecological Monographs, 48, 145-166.
  • Grayson, K. L., and Wilbur, H. M. (2009). ''Sex- and context-dependent migration in a pond-breeding amphibian.'' Ecology, 90, 306-312.
  • Healy, W. R. (1973). ''Terrestrial activity and home range in efts of Notophthalmus viridescens.'' American Midland Naturalist, 93, 131-138.
  • Howard, R. R., and Brodie, E. D. (1971). ''Experimental study of mimicry in salamanders involving Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens and Pseudotriton ruber schencki.'' Nature, 233, 277.
  • Huheey, J. E.. and Brandon, R. A. (1974). ''Studies in warning coloration and mimicry. VI. Comments on the warning coloration of red efts and their presumed mimicry by red salamanders.'' Herpetologica, 30, 149-155.
  • Hurlbert, S. H. (1970). ''Predator responses to the vermilion-spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens).'' Journal of Herpetology, 4, 47-55.
  • Morgan, A. H., and Grierson, M. C. (1932). ''Winter habits and yearly food consumption of adult spotted newts, Triturus viridescens.'' Ecology, 13, 54-62.
  • Padgett-Flohr, G. E., Bommarito, T., and Sparling, D. (2007). ''Amphibian chytridiomycosis in commercially purchased research amphibians.'' Herpetological Review, 38, 390-393.
  • Park, D., Hempleman, S. C., and Propper, C. R. (2001). ''Endosulfan exposure disrupts pheromonal systems in the red-spotted newt: a mechanism for subtle effects of environmental chemicals.'' Environmental Health Perspectives, 109, 669-673.
  • Park, D., and Propper, C. R. (2002). ''Endosulfan affects pheromonal detection and glands in the male red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Bulletin of Environmental Contaminants and Toxicology, 69, 609-616.
  • Pough, F. H. (1971). ''Leech-repellent property of eastern red-spotted newts, Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Science, 174, 1144-1146.
  • Raffel, T. R., Bommarito, T., Barry, D. S., Witiak, S. M., and Shackelton, L. A. (2008). ''Widespread infection of the Eastern red-spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) by a new species of Amphibiocystidium, a genus of fungus-like mesomycetozoan parasites not previously reported in North America.'' Parasitology, 135, 203-215.
  • Raffel, T. R., Michel, P. J., Sites, E. W., and Rohr, J. R. (2010). ''What drives chytrid infections in newt populations? Associations with substrate, temperature, and shade.'' EcoHealth, doi: 10.1007/s10393-010-0358-2.
  • Roe, A. W., and Grayson, K. L. (2008). ''Terrestrial movements and habitat use of juvenile and emigrating adult eastern red-spotted newts, Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Journal of Herpetology, 42, 22-30.
  • Rothermel, B. B., Walls, S. C., Mitchell, J. C., Dodd, C. K. Jr., Irwin, L. K., Green, D. E., Vazquez, V. M., Petranka, J. W., and Stevenson, D. J. (2008). ''Widespread occurrence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the southeastern USA .'' Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 82, 3-18.
  • Shure, D. J., Wilson, L. A., and Hochwender, C. (1989). ''Predation on aposematic efts of Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Journal of Herpetology, 23, 437-439.
  • Takahashi, M. (2009). Ecological Divergence of the Eastern Newt, Notophthalmus viridescens. Ph.D. dissertation. The University of Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Takahashi, M. K., and Parris, M. J. (2008). ''Life cycle polyphenism as a factor affecting ecological divergence within Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Oecologia, 158, 23-24.
  • Wakely, J. F., Fuhrman, G. J., Fuhrman, F. A., Fischer, H. G., and Mosher, H. S. (1966). ''The occurrence of tetrodotoxin (tarichatoxin) in amphibia and the distribution of the toxin in the organs of newts (Taricha).'' Toxicon, 3, 195-203.
  • Walters, P. J., and Greenwald, L. (1977). ''Physiological adaptations of aquatic newts (Notophthalmus viridescens) to a terrestrial environment.'' Physiological Zoology, 50, 88-98.
  • Webster, D. A. (1960). ''Toxicity of the spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens, to trout.'' Copeia, 1960, 1-2.
  • Yotsu-Yamashita, M., and Mebs, D. (2003). ''Occurrence of 11-oxotetrodotoxin in the red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens, and further studies on the levels of tetrodotoxin and its analogues in the newt's efts.'' Toxicon, 41, 893-897.
  • Relyea, R. A., and Jones, D. K. (2009). ''The toxicity of Roundup Original Max® to 13 species of larval amphibians.'' Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 28, 2004-2008.
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Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable to increase of 25%

Comments: Could be increasing with increasing beaver populations (Petranka 1998).

Global Long Term Trend: Increase of 10-25% to decline of 30%

Comments: May have increased as creation of farm ponds augmented available habitat (Petranka 1998).

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Threats

Major Threats
Roads negatively impact salamander abundance in roadside habitat and might serve as partial barriers to movement (deMaynadier and Hunter 2000). Introduced bluegill sunfish might cause declines in larval abundance (Smith et al. 1999). However, the species is unthreatened overall.
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Degree of Threat: Low

Comments: Roads negatively impact salamander abundance in roadside habitat and may serve as partial barriers to movement (deMaynadier and Hunter 2000). Introduced bluegill sunfish may cause declines in larval abundance (Smith et al. 1999). However, the species is unthreatened overall.

See Attum et al. (2002) for information on how collection for human use affects newt size and mass in harvested populations.

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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

Raffel et al. (2010) found that eastern newts in 12 of 16 central Pennsylvania ponds were widely infected with the amphibian chytrid fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), although they appeared healthy and did not show any overt signs of chytridiomycosis. N. viridescens may thus act as a reservoir species for Bd (Raffel et al. 2010). In the southeastern United States, Bd-infected N. viridescens have been found in Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia, but sampling was negative in Louisiana and Tennessee (Rothermel et al. 2008). Eight dead Bd-infected newts were found in Virginia, although these individuals were apparently not part of a mass mortality event and newt populations did not decline between 2006 and 2008 (Rothermel et al. 2008). Padgett-Flohr et al. (2007) also reported Bd infections in commercially purchased N. viridescens, but did not note where infected individuals originated.

Recently a new species of mesomycetozoan parasite (Amphibiocystidium viridescens) was reported to be widespread (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Massachusetts) and to have caused mortality in eastern newt populations. Infection presents as subcutaneous cysts, visible as raised bumps under the skin and in the liver. This may be another recently emerged pathogen, like the chytrid fungal pathogen Bd. Peaks in infection prevalence were found to occur in winter and early spring (Raffel et al. 2008).

N. viridescens may be a carrier of iridoviruses. Duffus et al. (2008) examined FV3 prevalence in pond-dwelling amphibian communities of southeastern Ontario, Canada. Of five N. viridescens individuals sampled from a single pond, one was infected with frog virus 3 (FV3) but did not show clinical signs of infection, in contrast to syntopic wood frogs.

Pollutants can affect this species. Relyea and Jones (2009) found that the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup (in the Original Max formulation, which contains the surfactant polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA) was moderately toxic to larval N. viridescens, similar to the toxicity for larval ambystomatid salamanders and less than the toxicity for larval anurans. In another study, adult N. viridescens exposed to sediments with low amounts of coal-tar sealant (which can originate from asphalt parking lots), as well as to UV light, showed sublethal effects including decreased righting ability and decreased swimming speed. Although these effects did not directly result in mortality, they could potentially influence survival by decreasing the ability to catch prey or evade predators (Bommarito 2009). Likewise, exposure to the insecticide endosulfan has been shown to reduce mating success in N. viridescens by inhibiting release or potency of female pheromones and by delaying male responses to female odors (Park et al. 2001; Park and Propper 2002).

  • Behler, J.L. and King, F.W. (1996). National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. Knopf, New York, NY.
  • Petranka, J. W. (1998). Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington and London.
  • Bommarito, T. (2009). Toxicity of Sediments Containing Coal-tar Pavement Sealants to Notophthalmus viridescens and Ambystoma maculatum, Surrogate Species for Eurycea sosorum. M. S. Thesis. Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
  • Brandon, R. A., Labanick, G. M., and Huheey, J. E. (1979). ''Learned avoidence of brown efts, Notophthalmus viridescen louisianensis (Amphibia, Urodela, Salamandridae), by chickens.'' Journal of Herpetology, 13, 171-176.
  • Brimley, C. S. (1921). ''The life history of the American Newt.'' Copeia, 1921, 31-32.
  • Brodie, E. D. (1968). ''Investigations on the skin toxin of the red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens.'' American Midland Naturalist, 80, 276-280.
  • Brodie, E. D. Jr., and Formanowicz, D. R. Jr. (1981). ''Larvae of the predaceous diving beetle Dytiscus verticalis acquire an avoidance response to skin secretions of the newt Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Herpetologica, 37, 172-176.
  • Davis, A. K., and Grayson, K. L. (2007). ''Improving natural history research with image analysis: the relationship between skin color, sex, size, and stage in adult red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens).'' Herpetological Conservation and Biology , 2, 65-70.
  • Davis, A. K., and Grayson, K. L. (2008). ''Spots of adult male red-spotted newts are redder and brighter than in females: evidence for a role in mate selection?'' Herpetological Journal, 18, 83-89.
  • DuRant, S. E., and Hopkins, W. A. (2008). ''Amphibian predation on larval mosquitoes.'' Canadian Journal of Zoology, 86, 1159-1164.
  • Duffus, A. L. J., Wozney, K., Brunetti, C. R., and Berrill, M. (2008). ''Frog virus 3-like infections in aquatic amphibian communities.'' Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 44, 109-120.
  • Forester, D. C. and Lykens, D. V. (1991). ''Age structure in a population of red-spotted newts from the Allegheny Plateau of Maryland.'' Journal of Herpetology, 25, 373-376.
  • Gage, S. H. (1891). ''Life-history of the vermilion-spotted newt (Diemyctylus viridescens Raf.).'' American Naturalist, 25, 1084-1110.
  • Gill, D. E. (1978). ''Effective population size and interdemic migration rates in a metapopulation of the red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens (Rafinesque).'' Evolutionary Ecology Research, 32, 839-849.
  • Gill, D. E. (1978). ''The metapopulation ecology of the red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens (Rafinesque).'' Ecological Monographs, 48, 145-166.
  • Grayson, K. L., and Wilbur, H. M. (2009). ''Sex- and context-dependent migration in a pond-breeding amphibian.'' Ecology, 90, 306-312.
  • Healy, W. R. (1973). ''Terrestrial activity and home range in efts of Notophthalmus viridescens.'' American Midland Naturalist, 93, 131-138.
  • Howard, R. R., and Brodie, E. D. (1971). ''Experimental study of mimicry in salamanders involving Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens and Pseudotriton ruber schencki.'' Nature, 233, 277.
  • Huheey, J. E.. and Brandon, R. A. (1974). ''Studies in warning coloration and mimicry. VI. Comments on the warning coloration of red efts and their presumed mimicry by red salamanders.'' Herpetologica, 30, 149-155.
  • Hurlbert, S. H. (1970). ''Predator responses to the vermilion-spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens).'' Journal of Herpetology, 4, 47-55.
  • Morgan, A. H., and Grierson, M. C. (1932). ''Winter habits and yearly food consumption of adult spotted newts, Triturus viridescens.'' Ecology, 13, 54-62.
  • Padgett-Flohr, G. E., Bommarito, T., and Sparling, D. (2007). ''Amphibian chytridiomycosis in commercially purchased research amphibians.'' Herpetological Review, 38, 390-393.
  • Park, D., Hempleman, S. C., and Propper, C. R. (2001). ''Endosulfan exposure disrupts pheromonal systems in the red-spotted newt: a mechanism for subtle effects of environmental chemicals.'' Environmental Health Perspectives, 109, 669-673.
  • Park, D., and Propper, C. R. (2002). ''Endosulfan affects pheromonal detection and glands in the male red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Bulletin of Environmental Contaminants and Toxicology, 69, 609-616.
  • Pough, F. H. (1971). ''Leech-repellent property of eastern red-spotted newts, Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Science, 174, 1144-1146.
  • Raffel, T. R., Bommarito, T., Barry, D. S., Witiak, S. M., and Shackelton, L. A. (2008). ''Widespread infection of the Eastern red-spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) by a new species of Amphibiocystidium, a genus of fungus-like mesomycetozoan parasites not previously reported in North America.'' Parasitology, 135, 203-215.
  • Raffel, T. R., Michel, P. J., Sites, E. W., and Rohr, J. R. (2010). ''What drives chytrid infections in newt populations? Associations with substrate, temperature, and shade.'' EcoHealth, doi: 10.1007/s10393-010-0358-2.
  • Roe, A. W., and Grayson, K. L. (2008). ''Terrestrial movements and habitat use of juvenile and emigrating adult eastern red-spotted newts, Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Journal of Herpetology, 42, 22-30.
  • Rothermel, B. B., Walls, S. C., Mitchell, J. C., Dodd, C. K. Jr., Irwin, L. K., Green, D. E., Vazquez, V. M., Petranka, J. W., and Stevenson, D. J. (2008). ''Widespread occurrence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the southeastern USA .'' Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 82, 3-18.
  • Shure, D. J., Wilson, L. A., and Hochwender, C. (1989). ''Predation on aposematic efts of Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Journal of Herpetology, 23, 437-439.
  • Takahashi, M. (2009). Ecological Divergence of the Eastern Newt, Notophthalmus viridescens. Ph.D. dissertation. The University of Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Takahashi, M. K., and Parris, M. J. (2008). ''Life cycle polyphenism as a factor affecting ecological divergence within Notophthalmus viridescens.'' Oecologia, 158, 23-24.
  • Wakely, J. F., Fuhrman, G. J., Fuhrman, F. A., Fischer, H. G., and Mosher, H. S. (1966). ''The occurrence of tetrodotoxin (tarichatoxin) in amphibia and the distribution of the toxin in the organs of newts (Taricha).'' Toxicon, 3, 195-203.
  • Walters, P. J., and Greenwald, L. (1977). ''Physiological adaptations of aquatic newts (Notophthalmus viridescens) to a terrestrial environment.'' Physiological Zoology, 50, 88-98.
  • Webster, D. A. (1960). ''Toxicity of the spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens, to trout.'' Copeia, 1960, 1-2.
  • Yotsu-Yamashita, M., and Mebs, D. (2003). ''Occurrence of 11-oxotetrodotoxin in the red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens, and further studies on the levels of tetrodotoxin and its analogues in the newt's efts.'' Toxicon, 41, 893-897.
  • Relyea, R. A., and Jones, D. K. (2009). ''The toxicity of Roundup Original Max® to 13 species of larval amphibians.'' Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 28, 2004-2008.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
None needed. It occurs in many protected areas.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

There are no negative affects of eastern newts on humans. Their skin is toxic, so they should never be eaten or handled with broken skin, but they are not very toxic to humans.

Negative Impacts: injures humans (poisonous )

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Eastern newts may benefit humans by helping to control populations of aquatic insects, including Culicidae. They play an important ecological role in freshwater and woodland habitats. Eastern newts are sometimes kept as aquarium or terrarium pets and have even been commercially collected for the pet trade.

Positive Impacts: pet trade

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Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

This species does not have any significant negative economic importance.

Negative Impacts: injures humans (poisonous )

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

The eastern newt may benefit humans by helping to control the populations of aquatic insects, including mosquitoes. They are aesthetically interesting and may play an important ecological role in freshwater and woodland habitats. Eastern Newts are sometimes kept as aquarium or terrarium pets and have even been commercially collected for the pet trade. Effects of this trade on exploited populations is not well documented.

Positive Impacts: pet trade

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Wikipedia

Eastern newt

Red-spotted newt (terrestrial juvenile stage, known as a "red eft")

The eastern newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) is a common newt of eastern North America. They frequent small lakes, ponds, and streams or near-by wet forests. They can coexist in an aquatic environment with small, noncarnivorous fish, as their skin secretes a poisonous substance when the newt is threatened or injured. They have lifespans of 12 to 15 years in the wild, and may grow to five inches in length. These newts are common aquarium pets, being either collected from the wild or purchased. The strikingly colored (orange) juvenile stage, which is land-dwelling, is often known as the red eft. Some sources blend the general name of the species and the red-spotted newt subspecies name into eastern red-spotted newt (although there is no "western" one).[1][2]

Contents

Sub-species[edit]

The eastern newt has these subspecies:[3]

  • Red-spotted newt (N. v. viridescens)
  • Broken-striped newt (N. v. dorsalis)
  • Central newt (N. v. louisianensis)
  • Peninsula newt (N. v. piaropicola)

Life stages[edit]

Eastern newts have three stages of life: (1) the aquatic larva or tadpole, (2) the red eft or terrestrial juvenile stage, and (3) the aquatic adult.

Larva[edit]

Red-spotted newt (aquatic larval stage)

The larva possesses gills and does not leave the pond environment where it was hatched. Larvae are brown-green in color, and shed their gills when they transform into the red eft.

Red eft[edit]

The red eft is bright orangish-red in color, with darker red spots outlined in black. An eastern newt can have as many as 21 of these spots. The pattern of these spots differs among the subspecies. During this stage, the eft may travel far, acting as a dispersal stage from one pond to another, ensuring outcrossing in the population.

Adult[edit]

After two or three years, the eft finds a pond and transforms into the aquatic adult. The adult's skin is olive green, but retains the eft's characteristic outlined red spots. It has a larger and wider tail and characteristically slimy skin.

It is common for the peninsula newt (N. v. piaropicola) to be neotenic, with a larva transforming directly into a sexually mature aquatic adult, never losing its external gills. The red eft stage is in these cases skipped.

Homing[edit]

Eastern newts home using magnetic orientation. Their magnetoreception system seems to be a hybrid of polarity-based inclination and a sun-dependent compass. Shoreward-bound eastern newts will orient themselves quite differently under light with wavelengths around 400 nm than light with wavelengths around 600 nm, while homing newts will orient themselves the same way under both short and long wavelengths.[1] Ferromagnetic material, probably biogenic magnetite, is likely present in the eastern newt's body.[2]

Habitat and diet[edit]

Eastern newts are at home in both coniferous and deciduous forests. They need a moist environment with either a temporary or permanent body of water, and thrive best in a muddy environment. During the eft stage, they may travel far from their original location. Red efts may often be seen in a forest after a rainstorm. Adults prefer a muddy aquatic habitat, but will move to land during a dry spell. Eastern newts have some amount of toxins in their skin, which is brightly colored to act as a warning. Even then, only 2% of larvae make it to the eft stage. Some larvae have been found in the pitchers of the carnivorous plant Sarracenia purpurea.[4]

Eastern newts eat a variety of prey, such as insects, small molluscs and crustaceans, young amphibians, worms and frog eggs.

Captive care[edit]

A small group (two or three) of adult eastern newts can be maintained in a 10-gallon aquarium partially filled with unchlorinated water and equipped with an air-operated filter. While oxygenation is not necessary for the newts to breathe, it allows the bacteria that decomposes their waste to flourish. This prevents dangerous buildups of ammonia and other anaerobically produced chemicals. The aquarium should be topped with a screen lid to prevent the newts from escaping and to provide proper ventilation. The newts will require an area to haul out of the water from time to time; this can be provided with a piece of driftwood, a "turtle dock" sold by pet stores, an "island" (a patch of soil or gravel with sphagnum moss and liverwort), or with terra cotta pots filled with aquarium gravel. If desired, pothos, java fern, java moss, or other semiaquatic plants can be placed in the pot to help absorb nitrogenous waste produced by the newts. Hiding places for the newts should be provided in the form of aquarium plants and/or clay pots on the bottom of the aquarium. Water temperatures in the aquarium should stay between 60 and 70°F (16 and 21°C) during the simulated summer. To simulate a winter to induce breeding or simply to recreate wild conditions more accurately, water temperatures should approach but not drop below 40°F (4°C). About 10-20% of the water in the newt aquarium should be replaced every week. The newts should be fed bloodworms, earthworms, redworms, daphnia, mosquito larvae (collected from unpolluted sources), brine shrimp, and commercial amphibian diets (although some may refuse these prepared foods). Feeding some type of live food is necessary, even if the newt happily accepts dry or prepared foods. Any uneaten food should be netted out to avoid fouling the water.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Borland, S. Chris (1998), "Use of a Specialized Magnetoreception System for Homing by the eastern red-spotted newt Notophthalmus viridescens", Journal of Experimental Biology 188 (1): 275–291 
  2. ^ a b Brassart, J.Kirschvink, L., Phillips, J., and Borland S. (1999) "Ferromagnetic Material in the Eastern Red-spotted Newt Notophthalmus viridescens" Journal of Expirimental Biology 202(22):3155-3160
  3. ^ Behler, John L.; King, F. Wayne; King, F. Wayne (1979). The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians (Chanticleer Press ed.). New York: Knopf. p. 276. ISBN 0-394-50824-6. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Butler, J., Atwater, D., and Ellison, A. (2005) Northeastern Naturalist 12(1):1-10
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Gabor and Nice (2004) analyzed 18 allozyme loci to examine the evolutionary relationships among the four subspecies of eastern newts: viridescens, dorsalis, louisianensis, and piaropicola. "Despite moderate amounts of genetic variation, phylogenetic and phenetic analyses of the relationships among 12 sites resulted in trees that were inconsistent with the current subspecific classification. Cluster and phylogenetic analyses of allele frequency variation confirmed this, indicating an absence of significant differentiation among subspecies. Instead, populations appear to cluster into groups representing geographic units that do not directly correspond to the currently recognized subspecies. The morphological and life history differences among the subspecies are not clearly associated with differentiation at allozyme loci. Recent divergence, gene flow, or phenotypic plasticity may explain the lack of correlation between genetic and morphological differentiation."

See Reilly (1990) for information on phylogenetic relationships of the 3 species of Notophthalmus.

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