Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Red-Spotted Newt Juvenile: The Red Eft

It was overcast and rainy at the Quabbin Reservoir yesterday - perfect conditions for certain salamanders to be out and about.  Red efts are particularly high-profile at this time of year.  Some, having recently transformed from their aquatic larval stage, are just starting the terrestrial part of their lives.  After several years on land, others are going back to the water for the final stage of their development.  We saw quite a few efts while exploring the shoreline, all in various hues of reddish-orange.  Here's a photo of one inside a coyote footprint hear the water's edge.

Red efts are bold in color and their attitude seems to match.  I guess there isn't much need to worry about predation when your skin makes you poisonous.  I read that it's not uncommon for a snake or toad to throw up an intact and unharmed eft a half hour after eating it.

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