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California Newt

California Newt
Photo Information
Copyright: Manyee Desandies (manyee) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-11
Categories: Amphibians
Camera: Canon Powershot S1-IS
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Amphibians - Salamanders & Newts 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-06-25 12:46
Viewed: 5236
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
California Newt
Taricha torosa

The California Newt is a relatively large salamander ranging between 5 to 8 inches in total length. It is tan to reddish brown on the dorsal surface with a yellow to orange belly. It has large eyes with lightly colored lower eyelids. The California Newt undergoes a number of changes during the breeding season. Terrestrial, non-breeding adults have warty skin and are not slimy. Aquatic, breeding males develop smooth skin, swellings around their cloacal openings, and a fin-like tail.

The larvae are small aquatic organisms with an enlarged tail-fin. During the younger stages of development, the larvae have external gills. They can have black spots or blotches on either side of their dorsal fin.

Range and Habitat
The California Newt can be found in the coastal mountain ranges from San Diego to Mendocino County. They are also found along the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada. The California Newt can be found at sea level to above 6,000 feet (2,000 meters). Northern populations live in moist forests, while southern ones are fragmented due to the drier climate.

Natural History
The California Newt lives a dual life as either a terrestrial, non-breeding eft or an aquatic newt. During the late summer and fall months, this species has a terrestrial existence, hiding under logs and in rock crevices. After the first winter rains, the terrestrial efts will migrate to the water for breeding. Once in the water, they will transform into an aquatic newt.

Life History: Newts can be found walking and swimming in small and large pools, both in the daytime and at night. They are somewhat resistant to predation due to their toxicity. As a warning to predators, a newt will raise its head and point its tail, arching the back and turning the legs upward. This odd position is performed to display the bright orange coloration of its belly.

Breeding: The reproductive season is from December through early May. Adults will usually return to the same pools where they had hatched and metamorphosized from the larval stage. Courtship involves a ritualistic dance in which the male will circle the female. The male will mount the female and rub his chin over the female's nose. The male leaves a spermatophore attached to the substrate for the female to retrieve with her cloaca. She will lay 7 to 30 eggs in small, shallow, slow-moving bodies of water. Eggs hatch in 2 to 3 weeks, but may take longer depending on local water temperatures.

Diet: They eat various types of insects, earthworms, snails, slugs, and sowbugs. Adult newts have been known to cannibalize their own eggs and larvae. When eating underwater, they protrude their tongue and use a throat suction to swallow.


liquidsunshine, Signal-Womb, Robbrown, marhowie, mesquens has marked this note useful
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Nice shot Manyee,
Good sharp details, good colours, POV and nicely captured.
I would have left more space to the L/side of the image.
Thanks for posting, enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Wonderful looking Newt Manyee, good focus showing nice level of details. Colours although nice look a little over saturated for me. I feel like Alan composition could have been better with more space in any direction for me. Excellent note, well done.

Superb image and full notes thank you for that. it is sharp and well seen, but I will echo another comment about the amount of space left in front for this amphibian to move into, in theory at least. TFS

Hello Manyee, This is a very good image..Great sharpness, details and colors..
An excellent note also. Very good job with this!

Very good, congratulations

Great pic Mnyniee,
Sharpness splendid
Good distribution in the space done a interesting composition.

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