Herpetofauna: One Life's List

Notophthalamus viridescens viridescens
Red Spotted Newt

near Johnson City, Tennessee
May 22, 1998

At right is an eft. An eft is a newt; it is the land stage of the newt, complete with a dry, rough skin.  Under normal conditions, newt larvae, when fully developed, transform themselves into efts and crawl out of the water. They spend 1-3 years on the land, before returning to the water to become reproductive adults.

On our way to somewhere else, we stopped to visit a stream falling down a mountain, and spent a few hours under the spell of a forest of bays, laurels,  and rhododendrons.

This eft was easy to spot, cling to a wet rock a short distance above water.  The photo is untouched - efts are brightly colored for a reason. Their skin is very toxic, and the bright colors serve to warn potential predators.







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