RE: NANFA-L--OT- Red Spotted Newts

Subject: RE: NANFA-L--OT- Red Spotted Newts
From: Schlueter, Scott L LRB (
Date: Mon Nov 15 2004 - 17:03:46 CST

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 3:59 PM
Subject: Re: NANFA-L-- Red Spotted Newts

thanks Joshua for sharing experience and info...
perhaps contrary to thought i have had-in-least 2 red spotted newts morph to
the red eft stage in vivariums several years ago. perhaps they were still in
the larval stage but they were large aquatic red spotted newts to me...
my concern was / is that they did not like the vivarium conditions and
morphed to efts to get out.
i often find redspotted newts in mountain lakes and spring fed pools in my
area ( esat tn ).
i had given up on keeping them but found many last weekend along the
shallows of a mountain dam so thought to try again. i caught 5 and put 3 in
the cement pond proper. ( hopefully i will see them next spring ). the other
2 i put in my indoor 55g heavily planted "florida" tank. they cant climb out
of it and i feed the tank well w/ flake and bloodworms and the least killies
are always dropping live food / fry.
i have / will be keeping my eye on them but as yet have not seen them eat
anything. any fish they eat would have to be small.
in the lake there were many, many and they seemed to be patroling the weedy
shallows looking for food. bass and sunfish were close enough to eat them
but i suspect they are poisonous. ?

>>>>[Schlueter, Scott L LRB]
E. newts produce toxic skin secretions and are unpalatable to many
predators. It has been documented that red efts are 10 times more toxic
than the aquatic adults. One study force fed e.n. to trout and the results
were 100% trout mortality. Another study, examined several thousand
predatory fishes from a New York lake containing newts and produced no
evidence of fish predation. Yet another study, showed creek chubs do not
suffer any ill effects after being fed red efts. So they can be preyed
upon, might be species specific.
again tho i feel certain they can morph back to the eft stage which
certainly would aid in their survivability.
>>>>[Schlueter, Scott L LRB]

I have heard of e. newts (aka-red spotted) leaving a water body and taking
on a more terrestrial lifestyle. They have been documented leaving when the
water levels drop, water temps get too high, or to remove parasites
(leeches). Apparently some only return to the water to breed, much like
any number of woodland salamanders. Although, I haven't heard of any
reverting back into the "red" eft form. Terrestrial forms are greenish and
their skin texture is more like the eft (more leathery in appearance).
visually i wonder how different the larval stage is from the adult stage?

>>>>[Schlueter, Scott L LRB]

Larval vs adult....
In a nutshell, it depends? Can they breed? Gilled adults have been
documented in-in-least 9 states. There can be a mix even within one
population. So there are several life history paths they can take: larvae -
red eft - adult, larvae - adult (not gilled) or larvae - adult (gilled).
They are highly variable and there are theories for all developmental
They are great aren't they??
ive also found red efts while walking in the woods near streams.
certainly one of our interesting critters.
btw Joshua where do you live?

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: Fri Dec 31 2004 - 12:42:50 CST