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Kent Reptile & Amphibian Group Amphibians Smooth Newt (Lissotriton vulgaris)

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Smooth Newt (Lissotriton vulgaris)

Male Smooth Newt (Triturus vulgaris)Recorded Smooth Newt Distribution in Kent

One of two small newt species found in the county the smooth or common newt is the more ubiquitous. Along with the common frog they will frequently colonise small garden ponds. They are also found in a wide range of other habitats such as fish-free pools and ditches with diverse submerged and emergent vegetation.

Neutral hard water ponds are the stronghold of smooth newts in the United Kingdom. They are rarely seen in more acidic pools whereas the other small newt species, the palmate newt may thrive in them.

Usually thought of as a lowland animal they also do well in some upland areas such as dew ponds on chalk downland.

Female smooth and palmate newts are particularly difficult to distinguish in the field. Few herpetologists could make a positive identification during a torch survey for example.

In the hand identification is relatively easy. Smooth newts tend to have white throats with abundant large spots or blotches, palmate have pinkish translucent throats with very few or no spots.