Profiles various amphibian and reptile species in the province. The profiles describe the species and their homes, what they eat, where they live, how they are doing, and what?s being done to help them in B.C. Rough-skinned Newts have relatively grainy and
dry skin compared to other salamanders
(leading to their name). They are also fairly large for a salamander, and adults can reach a maximum length of almost 22 centimetres from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. They are
dark brown to grey on top and,
unlike any other salamander in B.C., they are bright yellow or orange below. This colour serves as a warning to would-be predators. When disturbed, the newt will curve its head, neck and tail upwards to display this bright colouring. During the breeding season, males can enter an aquatic phase where their skin becomes relatively smooth, and their normally rounded tail becomes flattened like a paddle.
Newt larvae are aquatic with ragged looking gills. Newts live in aquatic and terrestrial habitats. They are most common in forested environments, living in and under rotting logs. Like most amphibians, newts become more active at the surface when it rains, but unlike other aalamander species they will venture out during the day. Newts migrate back to ponds, lakes, wetlands, or slow moving streams in the spring to breed, laying their eggs along shallow, vegetated shorelines. Some adults live in lakes or ponds throughout the summer or year round, and can often be seen swimming near the surface. After the breeding season, others return to forests to forage until the fall.
Ministry of Environment. 2007. Rough-skinned Newt (salamander watch factsheet). Ministry of Environment. Frogwatch factsheet. 5