Smooth Newt

Lissotriton vulgaris

Identification 3

Best descriptors when considering the group of "small" newts of the genus Lissotriton is the colouring of belly and sides, where Lissotriton vulgaris has spotted colouring in comparisson to any other species present in Czechia. Spots on the belly can vary from large to small and the background colour can vary from blue to pink/red centered, but the presence of black spots on the belly is a dead giveaway. Carpathian newt can have small spots on the side of their belly and Ichthyosaura alpestris can have spots on the bottom of head. Large dark spots are generally present on the sides of males which are generally darker than mentioned species.

Females have dark green-brown colour with white stripe runing between the front and hind legs.

Another way to determine males and females of this species from the others is by their skin flaps, this is the only species which develops large flap on the dorsal side of their tail (females) and body(males) in the breeding season.

Ecology & Behaviour 4

Smooth newt is fairly common animal in our nature. They are good bioindicator species and tend to not inhabit water together with fish. Rather they use pools of still water to breed in spring. Newts are semiauqatic so they use the ponds as a breeding site and hunting grounds. But climb out in autumn and overwinter under dead leaves or in the ground.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Yota K., some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/18784996
  2. (c) Mina Zaki, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/53644238
  3. Adapted by Markéta Vohralíková Houšková from a work by (c) Martin Vohralík, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
  4. (c) Martin Vohralík, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

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