Friday, 14 November 2014

Day 13 - do you like this little fellow - it's my newt!

Day 13

Rehomed :)
Hi all, I mentioned on my frog post on Day 2 that I had some pictures of a newt I found in my garden. He was in the same place as the frog, only about 3 years earlier when I was really little. My Dad and I found him when we were tidying up in the garden, you can just see him here going back to his home as we put the wood back where we found it so he wasn't homeless. I say he, it could be a she, I've not worked that out.

So the little fella didn't get hurt while we rebuilt his home I held on to him and I got a good look at him. I was surprised how delicate and colourful it was because at first he just looked quite brown and plain.

Common Newt (Triturus vulgaris) 

As these pictures show he was quite big really and his tail a bit jagged. Underneath is creamy with big black spots and an orange stripe. I wondered if it was a great crested newt but after researching it I think it is a common newt. Common maybe but still an amazing little creature.

Now newts are interesting. They are nocturnal and are cold blooded. They are amphibious and belong to the family Salamandridae. They hide away in winter too, not hibernating but sheltering. They eat a lot of slugs and snails so are very welcome in the garden.

All the British species of newt are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Their numbers have been in decline and people think this is probably due to the loss of ponds which is an important part of their habitat where they breed.

The old English name for them was efte, which change through middle English to eft and ewt and the little critters only picked up the n in the 15th Century!

They can produce toxins in their skin to protect themselves so after I handled this guy I washed my hands very well.

Here's some newt info:

Wild About Gardens - Newts
Froglife - Common Newts

I also read that they are very sensitive creatures and are good indicators of the quality of the environment, so it seems I am very lucky to have them in my garden and it must be a nice environment (but we do garden organically!).

Hope you enjoy.



  1. Hi Zach. Am glad you wrote about the newt as it reminded me of something that happened 3 weeks ago. It was Friday afternoon and i was at work. I got up from my desk to get something from the filing cabinet. When i went to sit back at my desk again there was a newt, exactly like this one, upside down on the carpet near my chair. At first we thought it was somebody playing a trick on us, then we realised it was breathing so we quickly rescued it and put it back on the grass outside. Don't you think this is pretty weird? We still don't know how it appeared and can only guess that for some reason it came in through the window as my office is on the ground floor with a big window that is about 3 metres from a fence with a nature reserve on the other side!

  2. Hi Viv, really glad you were there to save it, weird that it was inside. You're really lucky to work next to a nature reserve.