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)