Palmate Newt

The Palmate Newt (Lissotriton helveticus), is a species of newt found in Great Britain and Western and Northern Europe. Its habitat includes ponds, lakes, marshes, forests, and agricultural land. It can also be found in acidic pools around moorland or coastal areas. It is endangered and is protected by law in all countries where it is a native species. It is extremely endangered in Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. It is listed as only vulnerable in Germany.

The color of both sexes is olive-green or brown. Males and some females have a dark spotting on the back. Both sexes also have a yellowish or pale orange belly that may also show spotting. Males have webbed hind feet and a low crest along the back that continues into a slightly higher crest on the tail during breeding season. Other times of the year the crest and filament are less obvious. This newt grows to between 3.25 inches and 4 inches long. Females are larger than the male.

Palmate newts feed on invertebrates, small crustaceans, planktonic animals, and frog tadpoles. They sometimes will other newts as well. During the breeding season these newts are active both day and night, but outside of the breeding season they remain active only on humid or rainy nights. Breeding takes place between February and May and the female spends the entire time in the water laying 100 to 300 eggs which hatch into larvae in about 2 to 3 weeks. Metamorphose happens after 6 – 9 weeks. They are sexually mature by the second year. Adults hibernate on land under logs and stones between November and March, or more rarely in water.

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