Smooth newt

Not a lizard despite its appearance

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

The smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) is most commonly found in rocky ponds in the archipelago. To increase your chances of spotting one, approach a pond carefully, making sure not to cast your shadow over the water, and use binoculars.

In May, ponds are filled with adult smooth newts. A male smooth newt has a large, wavy tail, whereas the female’s tail is narrower. By the end of June, you can see small, fish-like tadpoles swimming in the water. Closer inspection reveals the presence of tiny feet and external gills. Some adult smooth newts also stay in the ponds throughout the summer.