Protecting and enhancing the natural values of Salt Spring Island and its surrounding waters

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Rough-skinned Newt

Rough-skinned Newt

Taricha granulosa, can be found in and around ditches, ponds and wetlands during the breeding season and in the forest, often far from water, when not breeding. This semi-aquatic salamander is medium-sized with total length up to about 185 mm. The back is solid brown, and the underside is bright yellowish orange. The sides lack folds and associated furrows (costal grooves), present in other salamanders in our area. The body surface is rough and dry. In aquatic habitat, the skin of breeding males becomes smooth and slippery. Metamorphosed juveniles resemble adults. During the mating season, males scramble for the attention of females, and mating balls of many newts are frequently observed. Newts are extremely poisonous if ingested but are otherwise docile and harmless. Eggs are laid singly on aquatic vegetation in ditches, ponds, or weedy lakes in early spring. They are about 2 mm in diameter and surrounded by a thin layer of jelly. Aquatic larvae have external gills on each side of the head and slender legs. The head is small with a narrow, blunt snout. The eyes look forward (in top view); gills look ragged and their tips droop downward (in side view). Larvae are translucent tan and with an orange tint on the underside. Older larvae have 2 – 3 distinct rows of yellow dots on the sides. They usually metamorphose into terrestrial forms the same year when hatched.

2016-12-13T10:36:09+00:00