A Newt in the Greenhouse

David Roberts writes:

I found this smooth newt under a pot in my greenhouse. I think it’s a young immature one from last year.

I can’t remember seeing one this lovely colour before. I have returned it to the pond.

I normally have a number in my pond that breed every year. I have not had tadpoles for a number of years. I used to have a lot but every year mallards used to come down, often early in the morning, and eat them and the earlier frogspawn before it hatched out. I have also seen blackbirds eating tadpoles at the edge of the pond. Penny, at the top of the village has frogspawn in her pond. 

Smooth newts are also known as common newts because they are one of the most widespread and abundant amphibians in Europe. They are much more terrestrial than many other newts, often found quite a long way from water, they will usually return to the pond they were born in, typically living in water as an adult only for breeding between March and July. They shelter as well as hibernate under logs, stones and leaf litter.  The adult can sometimes be mistaken for the great crested newt on account of its almost equally flamboyant crest. 

The great crested newt is also known as the warty newt on account of its granular skin compared with the smooth skin of the smooth newt.

David Roberts, March 23 2022