Author Topic: Smooth / common Newt Dales ??  (Read 317 times)

Offline Ian P

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Smooth / common Newt Dales ??
« on: May 04, 2019, 09:06:38 pm »
Whilst sitting at the exit of Wilsons cave (as  we have done alot !!) we saw what (after consulting Google) was a smooth/ common Newt.

Would this be possible ?
Was it a smooth/ common Newt?
Are they really common ?

Thanks
Ian

Offline mikem

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Re: Smooth / common Newt Dales ??
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2019, 09:21:38 pm »
Yes & not mistakable for other amphibians, but deciding which species is more challenging.

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Smooth / common Newt Dales ??
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2019, 07:19:10 am »
Common newt should be easily identfieable as the Great Crested is much bigger and the Palmate has blackish webbed feet. Haven't see one in a cave but as they like dark and damp environments not surprising. I remember my daughter seeing on the Taunton Canal tunnel and identifying it as a lizard once! Palmate newts used to be said to be a SW species too so most likely a smooth or common newt. Fascinating creatures and easy to keep in aquaria provided you keep them supplied with worms. You can watch their courting displays but need to allow them out of the water for the summer.

Offline kay

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Re: Smooth / common Newt Dales ??
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2019, 10:51:09 am »
Newts are relatively common on Ingleborough - generally of you catch a glimpse of a lizard shaped thing darting into the undergrowth, it's a lizard; if it stays around long enough for you to see it, it's a newt. There are 3 species which in theory could be around, smooth, palmate, and great crested - except that DNA testing of various likely looking pools on Ingleborough shows no evidence of great crested presence, so your choice is between palmate and smooth.

It's not quite so easy to distinguish between smooth and palmate as is suggested. The webbed feet isn't as clear a feature as one imagines. The easiest feature is that male palmates during breeding season have a long fine filament on the end of their tail (looks like the end of their tail has been "de-gloved"). Females are less easy to distinguish - the easiest feature is the lack of spots on the skin on the throat, but turning a newt over to see the skin on her throat is a lot easier said than done!

They can cope with drier conditions than smooth newts, and are reasonably common on moorland and bogs in the north.

For the last 7 years I've been monitoring the newt population at Ribblehead, and all the newts I've looked closely at so far have been palmate newts.

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Smooth / common Newt Dales ??
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2019, 07:54:24 pm »
Bit of a myth that they are most common in the SW. Yes, I remember the filaments.