EASTERN NEWT Maggie Panetta
Classification Common Name: Eastern Newt or Red-Spotted Newt Scientific Name: notophthalimusviridescens Kingdom Name: Animalia Phylum Name: Chordata Class Name: Amphibia Order: Caudate Family: Salamandridae
Eastern Newt Characteristics • Chordata: defined as organisms that possess a structure called a notochord, at least during some part of their development. • Amphibians evolved from lobe-finned fish. • Amphibians are tied to the water • Amphibians have small inefficient lungs and most species also use their skin for respiration. Because the skin is used in gas exchange, it must remain moist, so amphibians can not venture far into very dry habitats. • Symmetry: Bilateral • Body Cavity: Coelomate • Type of Organism • Free living • Carnivore • Semi-Aquatic • Segmentation: does show head, thorax, abdomen.
Life Cycle/Reproduction Specifics: A newt is a small to medium sized salamander. The newt has two rows of reddish colored spots with black circles down its back. 3 stages of life: larva, eft, and adult. Larva: they are small and develop in the water. They start out with faint spots and gills and large tail fins. As these newts grow they lose their gills and their fins dissapear. Eft: during this stage the newt is highly viiable to animals. After several years they will reach maturity and return to the water to breed with other adults. They are brightly colored red efts. Adult: the newt is usually dull brown and have flattened tail from swimming. During breeding season the tail fin in a male will get very broad to show mating status. Average Life Span: 12-15 years Offspring: 200-400 jelly covered eggs from late winter to early spring Reproduces sexually Adults are usually 6-11cm, efts are 3.8-9cm
Habitat Description • Where does the eastern newt live? • Woodland ponds or meadows • with dense aquatic vegetation • for adult newts, temporary ponds • of shallows of larger lakes and • streams. • What is its niche typically like? • Adults feed on many different small aquatic, insect larvae, and mollusks. Many times they will consume the eggs or larvae of other amphibians. • Fact: cannibalism of their own larvae has been reported to occur.
Special Characteristics Interesting Physical Characteristics • All of the life stages of the newt have a toxic skin secretion that will protect them from their preditors of many types. This poison is produced in very toxic and noxious secretions. (High concentration of tetradotoxin, a neurotoxin and strong emetic) • The eastern newt’s coloration plays a role in warning potential enemies of their toxicity Interesting Behavior • When attacked by a predator (birds and mammals) the newt will flex it’s mid-trunk so that the head and tail are raised and curled toward one another over the back. This position is call the Unken Reflex; it exposes the bright coloring . this position is exhibited in several other semi-aquatic species. Conservation • Overall the species is unthreatened. Depends of the preservation of aquatic and surrounding habitats. The key to keeping the newts safe is the preservation of its habitat. Let us not let the newts go on the endangered species list.
Fun Facts! The Red-Spotted Newt (Eastern Newt) is the state animal of New Hampshire Eastern newts make great pets, and are usually housed in an aquarium. (see right) To see a very friendly, peaceful newt see the below video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kdj4fYEgVJY
To do your ownresearchcheckoutthesesites!(works cited) • http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/eastern_newt.htm • http://www.theanimalfiles.com/amphibians/newts_salamanders/eastern_newt.html • http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10370_12145_12201-60848--,00.html • http://www.caudata.org/cc/species/Notophthalmus/N_viridescens.shtml • http://www.grizzlyrun.com/pets/amphibians/newts/red_spotted_newt/default.htm