Smooth newt

They have the ability to regenerate lost limbs and other body parts, a superpower in the animal kingdom!

Kristian Peters

If you’ve ever spent time in your garden or near a pond in Europe, you might have encountered a small, intriguing creature known as the smooth newt. This little amphibian, often mistaken for a lizard, is actually quite common across many parts of Europe and is a delightful sight for nature lovers. 

The smooth newt, also known as the common newt, is a small amphibian that can grow up to about 10 centimeters long. They have smooth skin, as their name suggests, and during the breeding season, males develop a continuous wavy crest from their heads to their tails. Their color can vary, but they are usually brown or grey with an orange belly that is spotted with black—a handy tip to identify them! They are quite versatile and can be found in a variety of habitats. They are primarily land-dwellers, but during the breeding season in spring, they head to water to mate and lay eggs. You can find them in garden ponds, lakes, and slow-moving streams. After breeding, they return to land and can often be found hiding under logs, rocks, or even in dense undergrowth.

These newts are not picky eaters. Their diet consists mostly of small invertebrates like worms, insects, and slugs. During their aquatic phase, they might also munch on water fleas, tadpoles, and small shrimp. Hunting for food happens both in water and on land, depending on where they are in their life cycle.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Austria
2022
Belarus
2022
Belgium
2022
Bosnia And Herz.
2022
Bulgaria
2022
Croatia
2022
Czechia
2022
Denmark
2022
Estonia
2022
Finland
2022
France
2022
Germany
2022
Hungary
2022
Ireland
2022
Italy
2022
Kazakhstan
2022
Latvia
2022
Lithuania
2022
Luxembourg
2022
Moldova
2022
Montenegro
2022
Netherlands
2022
North Macedonia
2022
Norway
2022
Poland
2022
Romania
2022
Russia
2022
European Russia
Serbia
2022
Slovakia
2022
Slovenia
2022
Sweden
2022
Switzerland
2022
Ukraine
2022
United Kingdom
2022
Great Britain, Northern Ireland

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No