Scientific Name: Notophthalmus viridescens
Size: Up to 4.8 inches
Adults are a shade of green with numerous red dots surrounded by black on the back. The belly is yellow with small black dots. The greenish larvae have a black stripe on each side of the head. Juveniles, called red efts, are bright red to orange with reddish spots encircled with black.
Did You Know?
The bright colored efts avoid predation from birds because red and orange conveys a warning that they are poisonous.
Role in the Web of Life
Adults can be active in water year-round and efts are active on the ground even in daytime. Females deposit 50–300 eggs singly on leaves on vegetation and wrap each one with glue from glands in their cloacae. All life stages eat a wide variety of invertebrates. Predaceous fish avoid newts because they have skin glands that secrete a toxic poison when disturbed.
Species appears to be secure in Virginia.
Last updated: February 22, 2021