Newts move to mat­ing sites

Landscape (UK) - - In The Garden -

Newts are leav­ing their win­ter hi­ber­na­tion sites on land, re­turn­ing to fresh wa­ter to re­pro­duce. The com­mon or smooth newt, is found across Eng­land and parts of Scot­land and Wales. It is the only one of the UK’s three na­tive newt species to be found in Ire­land. Adult com­mon newts mea­sure ap­prox­i­mately 4in (10cm) long. They usu­ally have a brown back with black spots, above a pale or­ange belly with small black spots. Dur­ing the spring breed­ing sea­son, male com­mon newts de­velop a con­tin­u­ous wavy crest along the spine from head to tail. Once fer­til­i­sa­tion oc­curs, the fe­male lays 7-12 eggs a day, up to a to­tal of 400. Th­ese hatch into tad­poles in two to three weeks de­pend­ing on weather con­di­tions. By week 10, the ju­ve­nile newts have grown limbs and their lungs are de­vel­oped suf­fi­ciently to sup­port a life out of wa­ter. Newts reach sex­ual ma­tu­rity at three, with an av­er­age life­span of six years.

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