The warty newt (Triturus cristatus) is a small amphibian species that exists solely in Europe. In the United Kingdom, numbers of the wee newts are dropping due to a lot of different factors, including habitat loss as a result of agricultural expansion. The nocturnal species is also frequently known by the moniker "great crested newt."
The warty newt is capable of reaching lengths of about 7 inches long, according to National Geographic. Female warty newts are typically bigger than their male counterparts, length-wise. In terms of weight, the range is usually between 6.3 and 10.6 grams.
Although warty newts are dark in color, their bright stomachs are not. Their yellow or orange bellies feature black patches. On the sides of their physiques, warty newts also display white mottling. The throat regions are white and consist of chunky, prominent black or brown marks. During the spring breeding season, the tails of the male warty newts take on silvery stripes. The male warty newts also have noticeable indented back crests in the spring.
Warty newts are carnivorous amphibians that have pretty big appetites, with their dietary staples including mollusks, tadpoles, dragonflies, slugs and worms. They also occasionally feed on other species of newts, such as smooth newts.
Warty newts are prevalent throughout both central and northern regions of Europe. These predominantly terrestrial newts are common in the British Isles, although they do not live in Ireland. Forests, quarries, scrub, dunes and grassland are all common living environments for these amphibians.
Major Decrease in Population
In past decades, the warty newt population has been steadily decreasing, mostly due to farming and loss of pond habitat. Because of the threat to the warty newt species, conservation efforts in the United Kingdom are in full force. In the U.K. it is 100 percent illegal to hurt, trap, kill or bother these amphibians in any way. It is also illegal to bring upon any destruction to their living environments. The exact population of warty newts in the United Kingdom is uncertain, indicates the website for the Hull Biodiversity Action Plan.
Warty newts are hibernating creatures. During the cold wintertime, the little creatures hide away from the world, often in mud or below rocks. The hibernation period takes place between the months of October and March. Once these newts emerge from the time of rest, the mating period commences.
- Reptiles & Amphibians of the UK: Great Crested or Warty Newt
- Hull Biodiversity Action Plan: Great Crested Newt
- National Geographic: Warty Newts
- Arkive: Great Crested Newt
- Amphibian and Reptile Conservation: Great Crested Newt
- Norfolk Wildlife Trust: Great Crested Newt
- Scottish National Heritage: Great Crested Newt
- George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images