Naughty newt

 

Smooth newt feeding on frogspawn, spring 2008

Smooth newt feeding on frogspawn, spring 2008. Thanks to Paul for permission to use the pic.

This newt – a female smooth newt, and looking rather pregnant, is looking for tasty snacks.

Another excellent picture from the frogspawn sequence on the Everything is Permuted site I mentioned yesterday.

One of the reasons that people’s tadpoles disappear is that newts eat them – though this isn’t often (ever?) captured on film.

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7 Responses to “Naughty newt”

  1. Linda Bywaters Says:

    Hi,

    My pond is only one year old and to my delight frogspawn appeared for the first time on 29th March. One of my newts tried to feed, and for a long time gave the spawn a good shaking, but it looked as though it could not break into the jelly and eventually gave up. Is it super strong or can the newts feed through it? At the same time five other newts appeared in the pond and I can’t see much hope for any tadpoles surviving once they hatch out. Fingers crossed a few get through!

    • Jeremy Biggs Says:

      Hi Linda

      I don’t know how how often newts actually manage to eat spawn. I suspect that, compared to little tadpoles, it might be a bit of a mouthful – and as you saw it’s pretty resistant tk being shaken about.

      I’d be interested to hear any observations people have.

      Jeremy

  2. Steve Waite Says:

    I have lost my entire crop of frog spawn to newts in recent years (approx 19 blobs?). I even tried to separate the frog spawn by putting it in plastic boxes in the pond. It tok a couple of days but the newts found a way in. They wait until the egg has developed and is just about moving and then pick them off one by one. It only takes a few days to wipe them out entirely.

    Steve

  3. Jon Cranfield Says:

    Just one thing – the smooth newt is a boy!

    My old pond at my previous address in Eastleigh had upwards of 100 frogs breeding within it. The newts cleared the tadpoles quickly in the second year. I wanted to find out why? so i cleared all the vegetation from around the pond and within the shallows of the pond – the third year had a bumper crop of froglets as the tadpoles massed in the shallows providing protection from the onslaught from the newts long enough to enable them to get too big to be eaten

    Froglets were seen in abundance that year by the new owner after we had moved to Alresford.

    I have now created a new garden pond which is full of clean rainwater and I am now leaving it to develop naturally – I hope that I will get frogs next spring fingers crossed!

  4. ryan Says:

    I have a pond that is about a month old, and I got 5 Fire Red Bellied newts from a friend.The newts stayed in and around my pond for about 2 or 3 days, but now I cannot find them anywere. I am worried that my neighbour’s cat might have killed them,or even hungry birds.Please can someone solve my problem

  5. jon cranfield Says:

    Just remembering what you said about the fire bellied newts. U had a pond a few months old and you introduced fire bellied newts from a friend

    How secure is your garden? The newts have left your pond and this may be a problem for the newts and for yourself as it is illegal to introduce these animals into the wild.

    The definition of the wild is unclear but the one thing DEFRA has said about non native animals if there is no attempt to secure the poplation within a garden

    I would suggest that a trip round the garden with a torch on a wet evening may reveal the newts. If you can recover them then setting a fence around the pond dug into the ground will suffice to keep in your pond. Providing rock and small log piles will provide suitable shelter.

    You will need some luck finding them. Let’s hope you find them and get them secured.

  6. Denise Says:

    We relined our pond last year , our Newt population had been dwindling for a couple of years, but now we are a year on and we still only have one female common newt and one Male crested, are the others likely to come back, poor cresta looks very unhappy on his own Denise, Buckinghamshire

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