RAUK - Archived Forum - Crestie vs Smoothy

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Crestie vs Smoothy:

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dave fixx
Senior Member
Joined: 13 Mar 2007
No. of posts: 319


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Posted: 24 Apr 2008
On a recent newt survey up here in North Wales ,we witnessed what we at first thought was a male cresty lying dead in the pond,upon watching for a moment or two we saw that it was taking a break from eating a pretty large male smooth newt,has anyone else seen anything like this?
Dave Williams
davewilliamsphotography.co.uk
Huddy
Member
Joined: 09 Feb 2006
No. of posts: 18


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Posted: 24 Apr 2008

Interesting observation there Dave ! I was once surveying a quarry pond in cumbria in the early 90,s and I came across a male gcn eating a fully grown but very decomposed male palmate newt ,the pond in question had a great many gcn and much smaller numbers of palmate .

What suprised me most about this observation was the fact that I had thought that newts would only take live prey  .


Vicar
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Joined: 02 Sep 2004
No. of posts: 1181


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Posted: 27 Apr 2008
I've not seen it in person Dave, but predation of smaller newts by GCN is well documented. Nice to have seen it though! 
Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
Alex2
Senior Member
Joined: 16 Dec 2006
No. of posts: 266


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Posted: 28 Apr 2008
[QUOTE=Huddy]

Interesting observation there Dave ! I was once surveying a quarry pond in cumbria in the early 90,s and I came across a male gcn eating a fully grown but very decomposed male palmate newt ,the pond in question had a great many gcn and much smaller numbers of palmate .

What suprised me most about this observation was the fact that I had thought that newts would only take live prey  .

[/QUOTE]

Hi Huddy,

Newts will feed on dead prey, i often feed thawed gamma treated blood worm to the vulgaris in my pond to give them an extra boost (not that they seem to need it). They go crazy for it. As a kid i used to catch newts on a piece of string with sliced beef heart, but admittedly the beef heart and blood worm are all items that are relatively 'fresh' and certainly not decomposed, so an interesting observation.


ben rigsby
Senior Member
Joined: 27 Apr 2010
No. of posts: 337


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Posted: 27 Apr 2010
ive seen a male GCN methodically sniff out (where many helvs + vulgs failed to notice) and eat, a dead earthworm buried at the pond floor.
compared to vulgaris and helveticus, cristatus is a floor-dweller. it doesnt linger in the upper reaches like them and when it surfaces it dives back down immediately. slightly more leisurely at night.
since thats primarily where it IS and so must feed, i wouldnt mind betting it has a better sense of smell than the other species. perhaps explaining the above.

also seen a gravid fem helv (poss vulg- hard to id from plan view at distance) take a couple of mouthfuls of very decomposed adult rana.
both observations this year
Diversity.

- Crestie vs Smoothy

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