Eastern Newt

The Eastern Newt is an amphibian that is found throughout the eastern part of North America.  They are easy to spot because of their unique coloring.

What Does the Eastern Newt Look Like?

The Eastern Newt is around five inches long and is bright orange when it is young.  Some call the Eastern Newt a Red Eft.

The Eastern Newt is orange when its young and it is covered in black dots.  There also can be a row of red spots that are seen on the sides of the newt’s body.

When the newt gets older, it can be brown or green with the black dots.  The belly of the Eastern Newt will stay orange or yellow and is lighter than the rest of the body.

The Eastern Newt does not have a slippery or smooth body, but it has rough skin and looks dry.


There are four different subspecies of the Eastern Newt including the Red-Spotted Newt, Broken-Striped Newt, Central Newt and the Peninsula Newt.

Lifecycle of the Eastern Newt

The Eastern Newt has three stages of life that it goes through:

  • Larvae or tadpole: This is when the Eastern Newt will have gills and doesn’t leave the water area.  The tadpole is brown or green in color and they will lose their gills when they become an eft.
  • Red eft: This is when the Eastern Newt will have its brightest coloring.  It will be orange or red and have darker spots that are outlined with black.  They will have around 21 spots and the spots go in different patterns depending on what subspecies they are.  The eft can travel to different areas of water and their coloring protects them from predators by warning them not to eat them.
  • Adult Newt: In around three years, the eft will completely transform to an adult.  This means their skin will change from orange to grey or green and they will keep the black trimmed spots that are black or red.  They will get a larger tail and will have smoother looking skin.

The Eastern Newt will never lose its external gills no matter what stage in life it is.

Magnetic Orientation

The interesting thing about the Eastern Newt is that it uses magnetic orientation which allows it to depend on the sun to tell them which way to go.

Where Does the Eastern Newt Live?

The Eastern Newt is found in coniferous or deciduous forests and they need to be somewhere where the environment is wet or moist.  Some of them will live their entire lives by water and they do best where there are muddy areas.

The Eastern Newt will travel from area to area in order to find the right place to live.


The Eastern Newt has some poison in its skin and the bright color is set to warn the predators to not eat them.

What Does the Eastern Newt Eat?

The Eastern Newt likes to eat insects, mollusks, small amphibians, frog eggs, worms, and crustaceans.

Facts About the Eastern Newt:

  • Adult Eastern Newts like to live where the area is drier while the younger newts want to live in muddy areas.
  • The habitat of the Eastern Newt is always being threatened because of the changes in the climate and because of infectious diseases that the newts can get.
  • The Eastern Newt is considered one of the only species that are true salamanders that are native to North America.
  • When the Eastern Newt is trying to find a mate, the male will fan himself with his tail and the female is attracted to the spots.
  • The female Eastern Newt is the one that chooses the mate.
  • The female Eastern Newt can lay up to 400 eggs at a time.
  • The female will lay her eggs and leave them to care for themselves.

What Did You Learn?

  • What is the Eastern Newt?  The Eastern Newt is an amphibian that is known in the United States.
  • How can you tell an Eastern Newt? You can tell the Eastern Newt by their coloring and the spots that they have on their body.
  • What does the Eastern Newt eat? The Eastern Newt will eat small amphibians, insects and mollusks.  They are carnivores which means they eat meat.
  • How many stages does the Eastern Newt go through? The Eastern Newt goes through three stages, the larvae stage, the eft stage and the adult newt stage.
  • What is interesting about the female Eastern Newt? The interesting thing about the female Eastern Newt is that she picks the mate, lays eggs and then leaves them to care for themselves.