Not too long ago I picked up some potted plants that had been on the ground for a while to find these two newts underneath. These bright orange, red spotted amphibians are a favorite of mine. Lately, we have been seeing them almost daily on our early morning dog walks. I knew that this was an amphibian with an interesting life cycle, but I began to question why there are so many tiny ones around this time of year and how they deal with the cold winter months.
|Eft, or juvenile stage of the Eastern (Red Spotted) Newt ©SBF 2015|
The efts grow up to 4.5 cm or just under 2 inches long (although I believe I've seen larger ones). They may stay in this juvenile stage for 3-4 years! Then they begin to darken in color and become adults, returning to a place where they can spend time in and around the water. Adult newts grow to be around 12 cm, or almost 5 inches long. An Eastern newt can live up to 15 years!
|Adult Eastern Newt
By Brian Gratwicke [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The Eastern, or red spotted newt is the only newt native to North America. The range of the Eastern newt is north to the Canadian Maritime Provinces, south to Florida and Alabama and west over to Texas and up through the Great Lakes.
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