Red-spotted Newt/Red Eft


 

Red-spotted Newt, Red Eft (Notophthalmus v. viridescens)

Red-spotted Newts are among the most common salamanders in West Virginia.  Adults are aquatic and have an olive-green back with scattered red spots and a yellow belly with small black dots.  The juvenile terrestrial stage, red eft, is probably the most recognizable stage by most people.  Efts are red with black-bordered red spots along each side.  Adults are about 4 inches long and the tail is keeled (more pronounced in males).  Two features that separate newts from other salamanders are the lack of costal grooves and presence of two longitudinal ridges on top of the head.

 Adults are usually found in permanent pools of water and efts occur in forest habitats.   Eggs are attached singly to submerged vegetation in the spring and hatch in about 3 weeks into larvae that transform into red efts in late summer.  The red eft stage lasts at least 2 years.

 Newts are found at all elevations throughout the state.

 

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