Sunday, 1 April 2012

They mostly come at night, mostly.

The 3 Native British Newts. Smooth (top), Great Crested (middle) and Palmate (bottom).

Male Smooth Newt comes up for air.

Male (left) and female Palmate Newt. Note the black feet.

Female and male (tail) great crested newt. Note the diagnostic white tail sripe that ecologists look out for when lamping for Newts at night when doing newt survey work.

Underbelly of an adult female GCNewt and a male Smooth Newt. Very striking.

Underbelly of a male Palmate Newt.

Profile of a male Palmate Newt. Note the tail spike.

Male Palmate Newt.

Male Smooth Newt - a beautiful creature!

Male Smooth Newt. The tail colouration reminds me of light passing through a prism.

Male Smooth and Female Great Crested Newts.

Male Smooth and Female Great crested.

Female Great crested Newt.

Male Great Crested Newt.

Smooth Newt lured to the surface with a worm and string. This way avoids disturbing the pond-weed and the newt isn't harmed either.

An ecologist freind of mine has a fantastic pond in his back garden with the three native UK Newt species breeding in it. They are most active at night but can be tempted out of cover with a worm on a string to enable closer study. Palmates are the Common one. Smooth Newts are probably the most beautiful one and Great Crested Newts are monsters. Just like a Salamander! Great Crested Newts are protected species and can only be handled under licence and my freind has a licence. His pond provided a rare opertunity to study these amazing creatures in close detail to which I am very grateful. So if you are out nightbirding with a torch or doing some pond dipping keep your eye open for these interesting amphibians.


  1. They are amazing creatures Stephen. I used to belong to a wildlife group in Deeside in the 80s that had a licence to rescue the protected great crested (and anything else) in ponds that were being lost during housing or industrial development and as mitigation place them in other or newly created ponds nearby. As well as the three species of newt we'd also save frogs and toads, any fish and beetles and dragonfly larvae etc. It was at times hard work wading knee deep in mud with a net or bucket as the pond was drained out but very rewarding.

  2. Cracking post and pix steve, only ever seen GC ages ago.

  3. just been up to a quarry in north wales with ponds full of smooth and great crested news have pics, are any of these threatened and who do i report the find too if they are , thankyou
    debra roberts 07723918732