California Newt

The California Newt is an amphibian that is found in California and in Western States throughout the United States.

What is Interesting about the California Newt?

The most interesting thing about the California Newt is that it secretes a toxin in its skin and it only has one true predator and that is the Garter Snake.

What Does the California Newt Look Like?

The California Newt has rough skin and it is brownish on top.  The bottom of the California Newt is orange, and this is a warning for other animals and people that this animal is poisonous.  The California Newt grows up to 8 inches long and has four legs with four toes on the front legs and five toes on the back legs.

The eyes of the California Newt are usually yellow, and their eyes protrude from the sides of their head, so it looks like they have a bullet shaped head.


The California Newt has two subspecies of Newts the Sierra Newt and the Coastal Range Newt.

The Sierra Newt is similar to the California Newt except it is darker in color and has darker colored eyes.

The Coastal Range Newt is more of a brown like color and also has darker eyes than the California Newt.

Where Do California Newts Live?

California Newts live in areas around California and in some of the Western States.  They live in a habitat where there are wetlands, forests and areas that have enough moisture for them to survive.

They are found around the Mendocino County all the way to Sand Diego County.

The California Newt lives close to water areas and areas that have places for them to hide.

What Does the California Newt Eat?

The California Newt is a carnivore which means that it eats meat.  It eats small insects that don’t have backbones such as slugs, snails, worms, crickets and mosquitos, to name a few.

The California Newt also will eat on eggs that fish lay such as trout.

If a California Newt lives in an aquarium as a pet, it will be given earthworms which can give it all the nutrients that it needs.

Are California Newts in Danger?

California Newts are being seen less and less and there are many reasons for this.  One reason is that forests and wetlands are being destroyed and water is being polluted.

People that put crayfish in their ponds are causing the decline of the California Newt because the crayfish can kill the newt with its claws and eat the California Newts eggs.

Finding a Mate

The California Newt will dance in order to find a female.  If the female is interested, she will rub her nose on his chin.

The female California Newt can lay up to 30 eggs at once and she chooses to lay her eggs in slow moving streams that have rocks and crevices.  Some of the water that she chooses can be up to 6 foot deep.

If the pond or stream has underwater rocks or leaf debris, she will sometimes attach her eggs to these things.

Once the baby newts hatch, they are hard to see because they blend in with the sandy stream.

Most of the time, the adult newt will leave the pool after laying eggs unless they stay to feed for a while.

Facts About California Newt:

  • The skin of the California Newt is so toxic that other animals will die if they eat the newt, even human beings.
  • The Newt has a gray skin that is rough under their eye to help them to see better.
  • The California Newt is under the California Special Concern Species because it is becoming more and more rare. This means that it is not endangered yet but could be soon.
  • The California Newt has a special coating on its skin to protect it from forest fires. It also has a special foam underneath it to protect it from the heat of forest fires.

What Did You Learn?

  • What is the California Newt?  The California Newt is an amphibian that lives in California and other warm states.
  • What does the California Newt eat? The California Newt eats many small insects that do not have backbones.
  • Where does the California Newt live? The California Newt lives in cities throughout California and close to water and forests.
  • What is special about the California Newt? The California Newt has a protection of toxic that leaves its skin.  This makes it poisonous to most species, except the Garter snake which is its biggest predator.
  • How are the eggs of the newt protected? The female newt lays her eggs in streams that are deep and they are able to blend in with their surroundings.