If newts like your garden prepare for seeing them for long time.
Newts are very interesting and nice animals and we do not want to encourage you to exterminate them in any way. On the contrary. If you provide them with suitable conditions, they will hand around for a really long time. For example, the great crested newt (Triturus cristatus) can live to be ten years old and its relative the common newt (Lissotriton vulgaris), which you probably saw in your garden, can reach about the same age.
Usually, you can meet newts running around but they never stray too far from water because they must keep its delicate and porous skin constantly moist, otherwise they can die. Newts like it under stones and love rich tangles of vegetation. You will see them in or around water from spring to late summer where they stay to mate and breed.
Newts are not dangerous and may even help you
If you see them in your garden, there is definitely nothing to worry about. They do not transmit any diseases dangerous to humans and they are incapable of harming you. Yes, they have teeth, but used them to hold prey and not to attack. To hunt they use their sticky tongue. A newt cannot bite you, even if you catch it with your bare hand.
Their diet includes all sorts of insects, worms and molluscss. When in water, they mainly feed on crustaceans and fish hatchling called fry.
A lizard crossed with a frog
A newt is like a frog. It needs both water and land but it is also a related to lizards. Lizards are known to be able to re-grow their tails (and they actually do), but the newt has taken this ability even further, as it is able to re-grow not only the tail, but also any missing limb! However, it loses this ability with age. Old newts can no longer re-grow limbs.
It regularly sheds its skin, so don’t be surprised if you see white stripped skin on aquatic plants. If you actually see the skin you are lucky, because a newt leaves the skin behind only if it has been scared during the shedding. Normally, it consumes the shed skin. If newts reproduce in your garden you will be seeing larvae for the first two years and do not come out of the water at all. Only two-year-old newts are able to leave water. A good thing to know is, that if you are planning a reconstruction of your garden pond for example please hold that project if you can. You will save their lives.
Newts reproduce in an interesting way.Don’t expect wild sexual orgies. The male tries to provoke the female and if she is willing, no intercourse of any kind will take place. Instead, the male releases a spermatophore into the water, the female collects it and inserts it into her cloacae.
Newts cannot stay in water bodies in winter because they cannot hibernate in cold waterand therefore they need to find a shelter on land. Various crevices or a damp pile of rotting wood will do. You can find them under stones on a rockery for example.
Preview photo: Pixabay
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