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South Central ARMI

Guide to Louisiana Amphibians

Eastern newt (Notophthalmus viridescens)

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  Image of Eastern newt (Notophthalmus viridescens)
  Photo: Brad Glorioso
Click on the image to display a larger version.
  Range Map for Eastern newt (Notophthalmus viridescens)
  Range map source: USGS National Amphibian Atlas, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Small, trim, spotted newt with a very complex life cycle and four distinct stages: embryo, larvae, red eft, and aquatic adult. Larvae are aquatic. Some larvae transform into a terrestrial juvenile called the red eft. The red eft spends several years living a strictly terrestrial lifestyle before returning to the water for an aquatic adult stage. Aquatic adults have lungs. Adults have spots that are generally small, dark flecks on an olive-green, yellow or brown dorsum. The ventral color is yellow. Tail has an upper and lower fin and is compressed. Adults range from 2.5 to 4 inches. Eft has granular skin with an olive to red colored dorsum that has irregularly spaced black dots. Eft stage is not as common in this subspecies of newt as in other N. viridescens subspecies. Adult skin is smoother than red eft skin. Eggs are laid in mid-January in south-central Louisiana. Females can produce hundreds of eggs in several days. Female attaches each egg to aquatic plants or other submerged debris. Eggs are surrounded by three envelopes. Neotony is common in the southeastern coastal plains. Species occurs in wetlands, ditches, river bottoms, swamps, and woodland ponds throughout the State; however, species does not occur in coastal salt marshes.

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