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toad Great Crested Newts

Identify It >   Amphibian Section >   Great Crested Newts >

Scientific name:  Triturus cristatus

Size:  Up to 17cm in length

Distribution:  Found in low numbers in most parts of England, Wales and southern Scotland. Absent from Northern Ireland

Months seen:  February to October

Life Span:  Usually 6 years, but there are records of some living for over 15 years

Habitat:  During spring and summer they can be found in, or near, ponds and streams. In autumn they hibernate on dry land

Food:  Insects, worms and slugs.  The tadpoles eat aquatic insects, insect larvae, water fleas and worms

Special features:  The great crested newt is a protected species.  It is illegal to catch or handle great crested newts unless they are in immediate danger.

During springtime, the male has a large crest running along its back (hence the name) and a bright orange belly.  They are sometimes called the 'warty newt' as their skin is very bumpy.

Special glands in their skin release a foul-tasting and irritating substance which stops predators from eating them.

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