Follow Wild Scotland
Facebook Blog Twitter Instagram
Bookmark and Share

Stay up to date with Wild Scotland and sign up for our Newsletter

Smooth newt

This is a medium-sized newt and is the most likely one to be seen away from water. It has a pale body with a large degree of variation both in size and in colour, with its upper parts ranging from olive to a yellowy brown. Its underparts range from red to yellow, on which breeding males have large blotches.  Breeding males have a continuous crest along the spine and down the tail.

An animal active throughout the spring and summer, it hibernates between March and September. Active at night when it is found hunting through ground vegetation and leaf litter.
Widely distributed throughout the mainland of Scotland, where it tends to be a low altitude species. It is found resting in a wide range of damp habitats along stonewalls, in woodland and even in gardens. It breeds in shallow weedy ponds where each fertile egg is carefully stuck under a leaf and then folded.
Strangely amongst amphibians where males are usually smaller than the egg-laying females, smooth newt males are, on average, larger than females.