I cleaned a bunch of leaves & muck out of my pond today and saw what looked like giant tadpoles. However their legs were not in the right place to be tadpoles. I asked the google what they could be, he thinks they are newts. I have only seen 1 or 2 newts in my yard ever, so it is cool to think that they are reproducing in my pond.
Here is a very immature one, about an inch long:
Most of them are 3-4 inches long. I think there are about 8 of them.
I used the muck on some plants and in my compost, I am sure it is full of microbial life.
We found this girl a couple of years ago, wandering the streets looking for a pond to lay her eggs in. We took her in for the night for safekeeping and then released her near one of our newly dug ponds.
She's a marbled newt, and, despite what everyone says about it being impossible, she made several rather cute little rumbly noises at us.
Dave Miller : I too have looked at these amazing amphibians in this immature stage and confused them with Tadpoles! I often wondered if I was seeing environmentally
caused Birth defects, as both these guys and Frogs are bell-weather species in announcing pollution and contamination !
So Actually you have proof that your pond is basically healthy. You will have just missed them popping out of their egg sacs, usually the only way to notice the eggs is
because various long stemmed soft aquatic weeds appear mis-folded and stuck to each other ! the eggs are hidden within the stem and leaf folds !
In some of the Larger bodies of water here in the Adirondac's we have extremely long lived ( In clean water ) Amphibians called Mud - puppies that can grow into the
3-4 pound range, I understand there are even larger ones in some places in Mexico where the natives looked on them as messengers from the gods, and also in Japan,
for similar reasons, these later ones get REALY Big ! For he Good of the Craft ! Big AL !
Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan
You get an apple!!.......because I love amphibians and reptiles...BIG TIME!!
Newts (called an "eft" in their land stage) are to salamanders (Burras photo) what toads are to frogs...
What you have in your photo (I fixed the link) is not a newt though but a "aquatic stage" of what appears to be some ssp of Ambystoma salamander. (I'm about 90% sure of the identification of about 80% or the worlds herpetofauna...though I am at error some times on specific sub species.)
I've always considered amphibians friends. If you are curious about seeing more newts and salamanders, I learned a good trick for creating habitat from a roommate who is a herpetologist. Basically, they love to spend time under flat rocks and boards.
My roommate was actually trapping and tagging them for a study. His "traps" consisted of a V made from two boards laid on edge and screwed at the lap joint. This V shaped frame is placed with the point downhill and the edges are pressed into the ground so there is no space to go under the board. Now he dug small holes at the corners and inside the point of the V, and placed clean empty soup cans in each hole with the lip below ground level. In each can was also placed a scrap of sponge, to keep humidity up for captured amphibians. On the ground along both wings of the V, inside and outside, were laid more boards, flat on the ground, so that they covered the soup cans at the corners, and all the ground space in between.
The idea was that as a newt travelled through the leaf litter and hit an obstacle (the board wall), it would travel downhill most of the time, staying under the laid boards for cover, until it walked into the can and was captured. Other bugs often fell in too, so the newts were content to chill until he sexed them, counted them, tagged them, and let them go.
I thought it was pretty neat.
I recently built a little 'frog pond' mostly for my kids and I built it thinking it would be fun to get frogs here, then I realized we have newts all over the property and it will probably become a newt pond! maybe a newt and frog pond since many frogs live here too. very neat to see photos here of newts in the water
I found this thread in a recent dailyish email so I thought I would try to share a few pictures of a common mudpuppy that I found while working several weeks ago. This mudpuppy was about 12-14 inches long.
Very interesting, I had never heard of a mudpuppy before.
I did some reading and the article says that the species is not endangered in the US (here in Germany basically all amphibians are endangered). The individuals live up to 30 years and need 7-10 years until reproduction.
They do look cool, like an axolotl.
This year I have only seen a newt once in my little pond. I would love to have more. Not sure if the hedgehogs I have (and which are carnivores) feed on them, which would be sad but hard to prevent.
I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do. (E.E.Hale)
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