Saturday, 17 July 2010

Camera Critters #119 Smooth or Common Newt

This little critter was sitting on a lily leaf one hot day recently minding its own business. It was unceremoniously removed to an empty carton for a photographic opportunity but soon clambered out and was put back into the pond.
Newts are nocturnal, spending their days under large stones or in compost heaps. Juvenile newts shed their skins once a week as they grow and adults shed frequently, too.
Newts live for about six years, though can live to twenty in captivity. When they are on land they eat insects, worms and slugs, catching them by extending their sticky tongues. In water, they capture their prey with their tiny teeth.
The smooth newt is the commonest species of newt in the UK and all newt species are protected by law. It is common in Northern Europe but absent from the warmer South. 

15 comments:

  1. What a cute newt! We have them in our pond but I only know because I found one when I was cleaning it once. I was really excited!

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  2. that is so neat! Do they have newts in England? For some reason I assumed those would only live in the south!!! Very cool photos!!!

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  3. He looks anxious to return to his pond and not impressed to be the star for this photo shoot. Not a creature I see here.

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  4. Does he/she have a yellow belly? We have at least one newt in our pond too, but I haven't managed to get a photo of it yet. It looks a lot like yours, but it definitely has a yellow tummy.

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  5. Wow! I learned something new: They can live to twenty in captivity. I enjoyed reading your post. :)

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  6. Aww, what a sweetie-nicely photographed, thanks for sharing:)

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  7. Sarah, our 'first' newt (so I believe) was rescued by me as it walked along the ridged carpets of our new school - poor thing was obviously completely disorientated ;-)
    Anyway, either it was a female or else we had other newts already secretly in our pond, but they have multiplied, though, being nocturnal (them, not me, or occasionally me . . . ) I can't be sure which explanation is correct! I'm still always very excited to see them:-)
    Georgia - yes, we do :-)
    Martha - too hot where you live :-/
    Carolina - yes! Tried to get a photo of the underside but it would keep wriggling so. Sounds as though you have Lissotriton vulgaris too (Gosh! Wish I'd learned Latin . . . ) However, it might be a palmate newt but you'd have to study the underside for that one too - oh, joy;-)
    Livingsoab . . . - thank you :-)
    Jane - too kind ;-)

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  8. Didn't know they shed so often. Nice beast.

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  9. Hello there
    Lots of lovely info about the 'subject' I really like it when the bloggers add that finishing touch to their post.
    Looks like the bowl was just a little bit too high for him to clamber over so you were lucky to get his photo - I imagine they would move quite quickly.
    Take care
    Cathy

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  10. Cute photos. Nice detail. Also love the swans in your post below! Beautiful!
    Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  11. The white bowl really highlights the dark markings and shape of the newt! A great way to get a photo shoot!

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  12. Fascinating! Would you believe I was just about to post for Camera Critters re my broody hens and the laptop crashed - will do it next week cos I do want to join in again.

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  13. How can a Newt be so cute, yet a Snake, who is just as beautiful in many ways, scare me so.

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  14. What a sweet creature! love his little toes and that he was returned to his habitat after his big debut.

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  15. What an interesting critter. I enjoyed the photos and learning more about the newt.

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