Froglife Volunteer and Wildlife Artist, Samantha Marais, has shared her next set of wildlife drawings with us, this time tackling the remaining 3 UK native amphibian species, the newts!
Smooth Newt (Lissotritan vulgaris)
Smooth Newts are the most widespread newt species and can be found throughout Britain and Ireland. Unlike the similar looking Palmate Newt they do not tolerate as dry conditions, so they tend to be found nearer wet areas. On land, their skin takes on a velvety appearance and they are sometimes mistaken for lizards. Just like Common Frogs they are usually quite quick colonise garden ponds.
Palmate Newt (Lissotriton helveticus)
Palmate Newts look very similar to Smooth Newts but they have more of a preference for shallow ponds on acidic soils. They’re patchily distributed and found on heathland in the south and west of the UK, and on moorland and bogs in the north; they’re quite common in Scotland, Wales and southern England but absent from much of central England. Palmate Newts can tolerate drier conditions and tend to be found further from water.
Great Crested Newt (Triturus cristatus)
Great Crested Newts are widely distributed throughout Britain but this distribution is extremely patchy; they’re absent from Ireland and have disappeared from many sites across Europe. They are the largest of our native newt species. During the breeding season males develop a jagged crest which has a break at the base of the tail and females take on a ‘bulky’ appearance.
To find out more about the UK’s native amphibian and reptile species click HERE
If you think you’ve spotted any of these species download the DRAGON FINDER APP and record your sightings.