08.14.2016 Eyes of Newt

Red efts, the juvenile terrestrial form of the Eastern Red-spotted Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens), are a forest floor constant during the summer in the Quabbin Reservoir…especially when the ground is wet.  We finally have had a few storms come through the last couple of days, maybe another today, and that has helped moisten things up a bit.  They’ve been quick hitters, but we’ll take what we can get.  A nice day or two of prolonged rain would be best.

These little guys are hard to pass up.

Red-Eft-face-shot-081316-960Even with my tripod splayed out and the camera tilted to 90° on the ball head, I still was just a hair above eye level. As with frogs and toads, a slow approach at ground level allows for getting quite close.  Here we are about 15″ away and pretty much as close as the 180 macro will allow.

The eft retains this coloring and terrestrial habit for a few years before maturing and returning to the ponds to reproduce.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Animal Behavior, Fauna, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to 08.14.2016 Eyes of Newt

  1. Jim Ruebush says:

    I’d love to see those scurry on the forest floor. Great color.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful shot. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Todd Henson says:

    Steve, nice one! I’ve yet to photograph any newts. There’s always more to photograph and more to learn about. Are these fast moving and skittish as some lizards can be, or more slow moving? How muddy/dirty do you usually get when creating these sorts of shots? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Todd. Absolutely, nature is a never-ending learning curve…and sometimes a circle.
      These particular newts are not very fast moving, although if they want to get away they do move fast enough, just not speedy on those short legs. I guess they are pretty confident with the coloring as they more often will hold still for long periods, especially when you get low. I get pretty dirty sometimes depending on where I am (wetlands or forest floor) and how recently it rained. That can make me a little self-conscious when I run the morning errands after a shoot. 🙂


  4. krikitarts says:

    Aye-aye, Cap’n, to eye-to-eye success! And an extra dram o’ rum for this alert swabbie!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. shoreacres says:

    The first time I saw one of these, I was just slightly put off. I don’t know if it was the color, or what — but I had an inclincation to go, “Ewwww….” Now? Not so much. In fact, this one seems rather cute. You may have answered this before, but what’s with the color? It seems as though he might as well be wearing a sign that says, “Here I am. Eat me!”

    [Add: apparently that sign says “Don’t eat me, because I’m flavored with tetrodotoxin.”]

    Liked by 1 person

    • You must have been having the proper response of a predator upon seeing the bright warning colors, Linda. Most of the bright orange and red creatures we see are colored that way as protection. Insects especially. The monarch is filled with toxins acquired from the larvae eating milkweed and the butterfly advertised such.


  6. How cute the newt. You’re deft with an eft.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your eft photo is deft…Did Steve beat me to it? Such an adorable creature.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh rats, I see he did. He leapt adeptly into the cute newt fray!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, this couldn’t possibly slip by him.But I am glad it struck you too. Now there is one intended bit that no one commented upon. I really did think someone would respond. Maybe it will occur to you?


  9. Jet Eliot says:

    Fantastic photo, Steve, and enjoyable descriptions.

    Liked by 1 person

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