Newts

Dragonfly Nymph in my wildlife garden pond
Dragonfly nymphs in my wildlife garden pond
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Newts

Male newt with heavy spot markings on underside during mating season.

Male newt with heavy spot markings on underside and broad rippling tail during mating season.

Newts

Newts are 'amphibians' like toads and frogs. The definition of an amphibian is 'a cold-blooded vertebrate animal of a class that comprises the frogs, toads, newts, salamanders, and caecilians (a worm like creature which lives mainly underground in the substrate of streams in the tropics)'. They have an aquatic larval stage when they have gills to breath under water then develope lungs when becoming adults so they can leave the pods where they were born and become part time land dwellers returning to water in early spring for their breeding season. Although I can see them in my pond on most nights I often come across frogs, toads and newts in the grass or under stones in my garden. They'r quite happy living out of ponds as long as they can find a damp place to stay.

Each of these three amphibians lay there eggs in different ways but all in still water i.e. ponds.. Frogs eggs are laid clumped together in a ball in the shallow waters edge possibly so the sun's warmth speeds up the hatching, but this can also lead to it's downfall. Frogspawn cannot survive being frozen and the shallow water at the edge of the pond will be the first to freeze on an icy March night. Toads lay their eggs in long strands which they wrap around water plants in the pond in deeper water so they will survive a frozen surface. Similarly newts lay their eggs deeper in the water but this time singly, each one being stuck to the underside of a water plant leaf which is then curled around the egg to hide it.

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