nightfly's picture

Amphibian and reptile 2.

Observed: 22nd September 2012 By: nightflynightfly’s reputation in Amphibians and Reptilesnightfly’s reputation in Amphibians and Reptilesnightfly’s reputation in Amphibians and Reptiles
22 Sept 12 (161)
22 Sept 12 (182)
22 Sept 12 (190)
Description:
Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Smooth Newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) interacts

Comments

Donald Hobern's picture

Throat pattern

I realise that Smooth Newt is the only native newt species in Northern Ireland. I'm interested however in the underside of this animal. The throat is completely lacking spots. Is this typical for a newt in this stage? I understood that a plain throat like this was more typical of Palmate Newt.

Thanks,

Donald Hobern

nightfly's picture

Donald hopefully someone else

Donald hopefully someone else who knows more than me will contribute. As far as I am aware there is but one newt species in Ireland and it is the common newt. I havent heard of Palmate being recorded here yet.

Cathal.

Donald Hobern's picture

Thanks

Thanks, Cathal. I wasn't suggesting this was a Palmate Newt (given the location). I was just interested in getting a better understanding of the applicability of throat pattern as a character for separating these species.

Best wishes,

Donald Hobern

nightfly's picture

Donald, I suppose I am lucky

Donald,

I suppose I am lucky that I dont have to study such features so closely in the case of newts in my area in order to make an accurate ID. But I only get to observe 1 type of newt.

Cathal.

Masked Marvel's picture

The spots on the throat are

The spots on the throat are an uncertain characteristic, it's more the base colour that's important.

For this newt the spot pattern leaves no doubt that its a male smooth newt, even if it wasn't in Ireland. The females can have a ridge along their back too, but the spots on this one leave no doubt.

nightfly's picture

Thanks Masked Marvel, The

Thanks Masked Marvel,

The reason I asked was that the 2 newts I saw yesterday were nicely marked males with spots, bright orange edges to the base of the tail and slightly serrated edges to the tail. I had never seen therse features before in several dozen smooth newts Ive seen and I wondered were all these features related to these 2 being in breeding mode. Does the male common newt develop a crest from that ridge on the back?

I thought I must have seen male specimens before not in breeding garb and looking very similar to females.

Cathal.

Masked Marvel's picture

They are definitely males

They are definitely males from the size of the spots and the body shape. You are correct that the crest develops along the line of this ridge too.

Eskling's picture

Love the first picture

No wonder people confuse lizards and newts!

Philip