Common newt

Triturus vulgaris

Smooth newt, photo the City of Helsinki materialbank, Jarmo Saarikivi.

Common newts are small Caudata (8–11 cm tall) who have a long tail, which makes ups half the length of their body. Their back is olive-brown, their stomach yellowish, and their body is covered in dark spots that form different patterns. Their skin is smooth or gritty. They live in shadowy and damp places and are most active at night. Sometimes, after rain, they can also be seen during daytime. Otherwise, they hide in rotten tree stumps, under the bark of fallen trees, and other hidden locations. They feed on Myriapoda, earthworms, and various insects. When living in water, however, they eat the larvae of mosquitoes, dragonflies, and water beetles, molluscs, fish eggs, and frogspawn. They go into hibernation in October. After waking at the end of March or beginning of April, they head into water, preferring shallow ponds, lakes, ditches, and streams with warm water.