The Common Newt is also known as the Smooth Newt and can be found throughout England. It prefers to live in garden ponds where there are no fish, but it also lives in water ditches and on the edges of lakes where there are lots of water weeds. It spends more time on land than in water so it needs to live in an environment which is surrounded by dense vegetation.
The Common Newt has a base colour of orange-brown and is covered with darker brown spots of different sizes. The female is also an orange-brown colour, but the spots on her body are almost black and a lot smaller. Both the male and the female have orange undersides. Around April to May the male Common Newt has a long wavy crest running along the length of its body.
The female Common Newt lays around two hundred eggs and wraps each egg individually in a water plant leaf. After about three weeks ‘larvae’ or ‘newt tadpoles’ hatch out of the eggs. They have long tails and feathery gills. Newt tadpoles almost look like little fish even though they have tiny legs and digits. Within three to four months the young develop into miniature adults called ‘efts’ and this is when they leave the water to spend more time on land where they feed on insects, worms and slugs.