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Newt larvae resemble fish fry except for their feathery external gills.
Terrestrial juvenile newts are known as efts.
Adult newts have lizard like bodies with no external gills.
Depending on species adult newts may be either fully aquatic, living permanently in the water, or semi-aquatic, living terrestrially but returning to the water each year to breed.
The southern crested newt of southeastern Europe is similar in appearance to the great crested newt but is a much more robust animal with a longer body, wider head and less deeply notched male crest.
The newt lives in mountain forests and their surroundings as well as forest steppe and true steppe near to water such as ponds, small swamps and lakes. They are active mainly at night and their carnivorous diet consists of aquatic snails, insect larvae, and a range of other aquatic invertebrates when in the water. Terrestrial adults eat worms, slugs, spiders and insects.
Southern-crested newts hibernate October to March in hibernacula on land usually in hollow logs and under rocks and stones. They breed on emerging from hibernation in the spring The 250 or so eggs are deposited individually on aquatic vegetation and the larvae hatch after 10-12 days .They normally metamorphose by the autumn. Most adult newts leave the water for terrestrial habitats in late summer, though some remain in the water all year round. Similarly, most juveniles leave the water at metamorphosis. The adults return to the water to breed each spring, and some juveniles also enter the water at this time, despite being too young to breed.
Although only listed as being of Least Concern by IUCN they are threatened by deforestation and pollution of wetlands.