Discover Maryland's Herps

Field Guide to Maryland's Salamanders and Newts
(Order Caudata)

Newts (Family Salamandridae)

Red-spotted Newt
(Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens)

Photo 1: Adult photo of Red-spotted Newt courtesy of Paul Kazyak
Adult Photo of Red-spotted Newt courtesy of Paul Kazyak

Eft Photo of Red-spotted Newt courtesy of Kerry Wixted
Eft Photo of Red-spotted Newt courtesy of Kerry Wixted

Size

  • 2 - 4 in. 

  • Record - 5 in.

  • Appearance

  • A row of red spots, each encircled with a thin black line, runs down either side of the back in both the aquatic adults and terrestrial juvenile “red efts”. 

  • Aquatic adults have olive-green or yellowish-brown backs and creamy yellow bellies with black spots, and have a long, vertically flattened rudder-like tail. 

  • Red efts are orange-red above and below.

  • Photo 6: Habitat photo of Red-spotted Newt courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
    Habitat Photo for Red-spotted Newt
    courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers

    Habitat

  • Aquatic adults are found in vernal pools, ponds, small lakes, marshes and the quiet portions of streams. 

  • Forested habitats must be adjacent or nearby, as the red eft juvenile stage is found in moist deciduous forests.

  • Maryland Distribution Map
     Maryland Distribuition Map for Red-spotted Newt

    Return to Field Guide to Maryland Salamanders

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    Maryland Amphibian
    and Reptile Atlas Project

    "A Joint Project of the Natural History Society of Maryland, Inc. and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources"

    For monthly newsletters of the Maryland Amphibian & Reptile Atlas Project click on Recent Newsletters and scroll down to the MARA Newsletters.

    The Maryland Herpetology Field Guide is a cooperative effort of the MD Natural Heritage Program and the MD Biological Stream Survey within the Department of Natural Resources and their partners. We wish to thank all who contributed field records, text, and photographs, as well as support throughout its development.