Common newt

Triturus vulgarisThe common impression is that newts live in the water. However, outside of the spawning season, newts come far away from water and can be encountered even in the forests. But what renders them special is their smaller numbers and a more secretive way of life. In the northern part of the Pskov Region the common newt is quite widespread. It has smooth or fine-grained skin, with the olive red-brown back and a yellowish dark-spotted belly. When breeding, males develop a scalloped crest stretching from their nape to the end of the tail. On the one hand, it is a natatory fold, but on the other hand it increases the breathing surface of the skin. In the second half of the summer, they leave their water bodies and keep to shadowy humid spots. Newts are nocturnal. When in water, they feed on aquatic animals: wrigglers (up to 90%), entomostracans, boat bugs, water-tiger larvae, dragonfly larvae, aquatic mollusks, fish and frog roe. Ashore, they prey on earthworms, caterpillars, insects and other terraneous invertebrates. They winter out of water in rodent holes, foliage piles, basements etc. The common newt is one of the most useful amphibians, since it consumes vast numbers of wigglers, including those of malarial mosquitos.

The common newt is listed in the Red Book of Russia.

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