Newts are brightly colored salamanders. These small amphibians are found in moist, wooded areas in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Anatomy: On average, newts are about 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm) long. They have four legs; there are four fingers on each of the front legs and five toes on each of the hind legs. The adult's color varies from deep green to brown on top, and the underbelly is usually yellow with dark spots. Many newts have red spots along their sides.
Life cycle: Like all amphibians, newts spend their lives near water because they must return to the water to lay their eggs. Newt eggs are laid in the water. When they hatch, they breathe with gills and swim. As they mature, they develop lungs for breathing air. Some newts leave the water at this time and are known as red efts. They are red-orange, but over about 2 to 3 years, they turn green. Then, they return to the water to lay eggs and the cycle starts over again. Some newts do not go onto the land, but remain in the water.
Diet: Newts eat insects, worms, snails, and small fish.