The Wildlife of
the West Country

 
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Reptiles - The Smooth Newt

First seen on Monday 6th June 2016 at Hidcote Gardens

There are three types of newt in the UK - the Great-crested Newt, the Palmated Newt and the Smooth Newt. The Smooth Newt is also known as the Common Newt and is the one you are most likely to see in a pond. At Hidcote, there is a pond near the glass plant house, where I often see newts. Smooth Newts are usually various shades of grey and brown, the one below is probably a female.


 

In the spring, during breeding season, the male takes on quite a different appearance. He has a relatively small crest, which runs down the entire length of his back (unlike the Great-crested Newt, which has a large crest with a gap between the body and tail). The male also has very striking patterns of spots and stripes.


 

Newts will periodically surface to get a gulp of air. When they dive back down again this is a good opportunity to see the vivid colours and pattern on their underside.