Thursday, September 13, 2007

Red Eft

This is just a short blog entry to show a picture of a cute little guy that I found while hiking this week.

This is an Eastern Newt. The Newt has three forms or stages of their life.

When the eggs hatch in the water the first state is a larval aquatic form with gills. After 3 or 4 months in the water the larval form transforms into the little guy pictured at left...a Red Eft.

The Red Eft lives on land for from 1 to 7 years and then transforms into an aquatic adult form that is olive colored with red spots.

The red spots of the adult and the bright orange-red of the Red Eft gives you an indication that for some reason these salamanders don't need to hide for protection. That is because they have toxins in their skin that makes them undesirable for predators to eat them.

The Red Eft is slow moving and looks like a little rubber toy on the forest floor.