The Smooth Newt

Latin: Triturus vulgaris

Irish: Eare sléibhe

The Smooth or Common newt is Ireland's only tailed amphibian. Although a native member of our fauna, it is rarely seen and relatively under-recorded. This is probably partly due to its elusive nature and also because it is regularly mistaken for a lizard.

It breeds, from February, in weeded ponds and the female lays her eggs singularly, attaching them to underwater vegetation. Newts do not have territories, though the male does need some time to reach breeding condition. Newts spend up to four months of the year in water.

The male has large black belly spots, whereas the female has a speckled belly. During the breeding season the male develops a crest along his back and the belly becomes a rich orange. Newts engage in elaborate courtship dances during breeding. Tadpoles develop into small newts. Maturity takes about eighteen months.

Case Studies

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User contributions:

By patcheen | 2012-06-29 08:51:19

Female Newt - swimming in a pond

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    Ballymacelligott, Co. Kerry, 2012-06-26 00:00:00

    Female Newt swimming in a pond. Picture taken late June 2012 Ballymacelligott, Kerry

By Philly | 2019-03-10 13:12:46

Smooth Newt in Moyle Hill, Milford, Co. DONEGAL.

Spotted this Newt today during stormy conditions

By Laurenhugheso | 2019-09-26 22:41:23

Newt spotted in portmarnock , Dublin

Found in back garden, near an estuary.