RAUK - Archived Forum - First smooth newt of the year in Essex!

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First smooth newt of the year in Essex!:

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herpetologic2
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Posted: 03 Jan 2007

 

Hi All

My Dad in Essex has found a male newt in his pond on the 1st January, have people been out yet looking at their ponds at all - this sighting will cause problems with the phenology website as it is considered to be too early.........

Dad (Ray) has previously seen smoothies from the 6th January last year - I think that he has seen frogs and newts over the Xmas break but no newts in the pond until the new year....

Any other sightings ovr December or January?


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herpetologic2
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Posted: 03 Jan 2007

Too early for East Anglia I was meant to say

 

 

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lalchitri
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Posted: 26 Aug 2007
can i put in a bid for the last newt of the year?
friday 24th august i spotted the first eft in my pond.
looked about a month old, but amazing how long they had avoided my attention despite me spending at least half an hour a day observing the goings on in the pond.
i guess the eggs must have been laid in early/mid july.
is this unusual?

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Caleb
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Posted: 28 Aug 2007
When you say eft... do you mean larva/ tadpole? Eft is more usually used to refer to newly metamorphosed newts.

It's not particularly unusual to find larvae this late in the year, some will even overwinter.

I think July is the latest I've ever seen smooth newt eggs in the wild.


lalchitri
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Posted: 28 Aug 2007
yes i meant the larvae.
the pond was laid in 2006.
first year i had frogs only.
this year (the second year) smooth newts moved in.
strange thing is they only appeared about june and then again without sign of any male (none had crests).
since they came after the usual breeding season and there were no males i resigned myself to the fact that i wouldnt get any breeding.
it was only on friday 24th that i saw something that looked like a fish darting around in the shallow end of the pond.
on closer inspection it had four legs and the feathery reddish gills behind the eyes.
james grundys book would have me guess they were about 6 weeks old.
this would give a birth in early july.
they cannot be any older than this since i replaced all the plants in my pond during the first week of july (under the mistaken impression that there would be no breeding for the reasons given above).
i would guess that the unseasonal weather would have something to do with the very late breeding (even though i had frogspawn in february).

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lalchitri
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Posted: 11 Sep 2007
just noticed a newt larvae yesterday (10th september) that hadn't even developed back legs yet (had front legs though).
i'll guess they won't develop into efts till mid-late october.
i think all this lateness occured because a local school is undergoing building work which started at the beginning of the school holidays.
as a part of this the pond was removed and since this is about 50 metres from mine i think they wandered over and resumed their egg laying in my pond after a small delay.
the amount of larvae in my pond don't seem a great amount for the 3 female newts i spotted laying eggs, so i think most of them were laid (and destroyed) in the school pond, and only the remainder in mine much later.

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snakey
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Posted: 20 Sep 2007
i doubt if larvae as young as that will morph this year and will probably overwinter as aquatic larvae. even in warmer than average years e.g. last year, many l.vulgaris and l. helveticus larvae fail to morph in my pond and many other local ponds untill the following spring
Donny
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Posted: 23 Sep 2007
A lot of the literature I read when I first started finding out about our reptiles and amphibians said things like 'newts are found in the water from this month to this month and then become terrestrial' etc.

This may be true for the most part, but I have seen Palmate Newt adults and eggs in the pond in my parent's garden (Scotland) in August.  The same pond also has a population of several common frogs who can be found perched along the edges or semi-floating on top of the water weeds and (very) occasionally 'croaking' all summer long (or 'short' might be more accurate).

Maybe it's something do to with lack of other suitable habitat nearby, or lack of predation / competition from other species, this being a garden pond. 


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lalchitri
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Posted: 24 Sep 2007
here's a couple of newt larvae from my pond snapped yesterday (23 sep)
we are into october next week and they still have gills (though quite resorbed)
this were floating around the edges of the pond so i assume they are the most developed of the lot as the younger ones tend to hide and stick to the bottom of the pond more.



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lalchitri
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Posted: 02 Feb 2008
decided-to-clean-some-of-the-leaves-out-from-the-bottom-of-m y-pond-yesterday
took-two-small-scoops-out-and-put-them-by-the-pond-edge.
noticed-3-smooth-newts-amongst-the-leaves(1crested-male-and- 2-plump-females)
since-i-had-larvae-upto-october-the-seasons-have-almost-over lapped-with-only-nov&dec-being-non-newt-months.

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lalchitri
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Posted: 02 Feb 2008
would the surface of my pond freezing over prevent the newts from coming up for air and hence drowning?
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Caleb
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Posted: 04 Feb 2008
[QUOTE=lalchitri] would the surface of my pond freezing over prevent the newts from coming up for air and hence drowning?
[/QUOTE]

They'll probably be OK- they can breathe through their skins to some degree, and they don't need much oxygen when they're torpid. There's also more oxygen dissolved in the water at low temperatures.

Frogs can survive for quite a while under ice, though they do occasionally die (winterkill) if the oxygen is depleted during prolonged freezes.

I certainly wouldn't worry about it if it's only frozen over for a few days.


lalchitri
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Posted: 26 Feb 2008
the product of 5 mins net dipping in my garden pond 2 days back.
i've had newts active in the pond since january.
the problem is the plant leaves haven't developed enough yet for egg laying.

p.s. can anyone identify the (slowmoving) bug?
the bottom of my pond seems to be crawling with them.


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Danial
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Posted: 27 Feb 2008
Hi Latrichi
The bug is a dragonfly nymph/larvae although I can't id the species.

You could try using cut strips of bin bag tied to small twigs or canes as an alternative egg laying material for the newts. Hopefully the newts will use the strips in the same way as plant leaves.

Hope that helps
Danial

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tobyd10
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Posted: 03 Jul 2008
Hi,
I've just found a 3 inch long newt in my water butt and wish to relocate it. Can anyone tell me what would be the best place to move it to as I don't know what they eat so cant put it near food etc.
 Thanks for your help.
lalchitri
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Posted: 27 Oct 2008
From the first newts of the year, to the last!
November is almost here and I have a fair few smooth newt tadpoles left in my pond.
Scooping with a net will always land a couple each time.
Can i assume that those left will now be overwintering?
I'm thinking about fishing the rest out and keeping them indoors in a tank, to avoid them freezing (pond is fairly large, but also fairly shallow at 8' * 6' * 1.5')
Would the warmer climate indoors restart the metamorphisis process?

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Peter
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Posted: 27 Oct 2008

[QUOTE=lalchitri] 

 can anyone identify the (slowmoving) bug?
the bottom of my pond seems to be crawling with them.

[/QUOTE]

As has already been said, it`s an Odonata nymph.  From the picture it could be one of a few species, but the most likely is Sympetrum striolatum  the common darter dragonfly.





Caleb
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Posted: 28 Oct 2008
[QUOTE=lalchitri]Can i assume that those left will now be overwintering?I'm thinking about fishing the rest out and keeping them indoors in a tank, to avoid them freezing (pond is fairly large, but also fairly shallow at 8' * 6' * 1.5')Would the warmer climate indoors restart the metamorphisis process?
[/QUOTE]

Yes,they'll probably overwinter now, and yes, they may well metamorphose if brought indoors.

Is the pond really likely to freeze to 18 inches deep? They'll do OK under any ice if not.
lalchitri
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Posted: 22 Nov 2008
30 odd neonates i netted out whilst cleaning my pond of leaves on friday 21st nov



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lalchitri
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Posted: 29 Jan 2009
Found no trace of those November neonates during Dec-Jan.
Either the cold killed them or they all metamorphed.
Also spotted first smooth newt of the year today.
A male was seen darting through the water on a sunny, pleasant day.

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- First smooth newt of the year in Essex!

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