Newts move to mating sites
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.