Red Efts

Posted on in Recent Sightings by Hawk Mountain

Juvenile Red-spotted Newt

Juvenile red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), also known as red efts, are out and about the Sanctuary this time of year, particularly on days with higher humidity. Their most active times of year are May to June and again in autumn.

The striking orange appearance of the red efts during the first 2-7 years of life on land serves to warn predators of the potent neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin that the species produces. In the adult phase this species turns olive green to brown with a pale to yellow, black spotted belly, retaining the red spots on its back and becoming fully aquatic.

They can live anywhere from 8 to 15 years in the wild!

Photo by Bill Moses.