Mar 10, 2017

Newts and Salamanders

Newt and salamander are often used interchangeably, but there are subtle distinctions between the two. Newts are a type of salamander, belonging to a subfamily called Pleurodelinae of the family Salamandridae. Both are able to regenerate nearly all parts of the body, such as limbs, tail, eyes, intestines, heart, and spinal cord.

Newts have three metamorphoses throughout their life, an aquatic larva, a terrestrial juvenile stage called an eft, and an adult stage. As adults, newts live a semi-aquatic to aquatic life. Most newts have webbed feet and a paddle-like tail, which make it easier to live in the water. Newts usually have rougher skin than salamanders. During the breeding season, they develop a flat tail.

Adult salamanders live a mostly terrestrial life except when breeding and laying eggs. A salamander is pregnant for only a few days. Salamanders typically have longer and more rounded tails with well-developed toes for digging in soil. Salamanders have smooth, wet skin like a frog. There are over 600 different species of salamanders.

All newts are salamanders, but not all salamanders are newts, just like a toad is a frog, but all frogs are not toads.