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BC Conservation Data Centre: Species Summary

Taricha granulosa
Rough-skinned Newt

Scientific Name: Taricha granulosa (Skilton, 1849)
English Name: Rough-skinned Newt
English Name Synonyms: Roughskin Newt
Classification / Taxonomy
Scientific Name - Concept Reference: Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.
Classification Level: Species
Species Group: Vertebrate Animal
Species Code: A-TAGR
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Caudata Salamandridae
Conservation Status / Legal Designation
Global Status: G5 (Jan 2008)
Provincial Status: S4 (Mar 2022)
BC List: Yellow
Provincial FRPA list:   
Provincial Wildlife Act:
SARA Schedule:
General Status Canada: 4 - Secure (2005)
Ecology & Life History
General Description: Rough skin (except breeding males); upper side usually dark to light brown (with dark blotches in a few parts of the species range), under side usually yellow to reddish orange; usually dark pigment on lower eyelids and beneath eyes; small eyes (do not extend to outer margin of head when viewed from above; V-shaped patch of teeth in roof of mouth; up to 9 cm snout-vent length. Breeding male: smooth skin, bulbous vent, highly flattened tail, dark skin un undersides of feet. Breeding female: cone-shaped vent. Large larvae: large gills; tall tail fin extends to shoulder area; row of light spots on each side of back; belly sometimes pink or orange; up to 7.5 cm total length. Eggs: generally attached singly to objects in quiet water; egg/embryo moves freely in jelly capsule that is 3-4 mm in diameter.
Global Reproduction Comments: Timing of migrations and breeding varies greatly, depending on location and conditions. In many lowland areas, newts migrate to breeding sites and deposit eggs in late fall, winter, or spring, and the resulting larvae metamorphose several moinths later in summer or fall. At higher elevations in the mountains, breeding may occur in summer or early fall, with metamorphosis about a year later. Eggs hatch in 20-26 days (Nussbaum et al. 1983) or 5-10 weeks (Behler and King 1979).
Global Ecology Comments: After breeding season, adults, as well as subadults and larvae, may form large aggregations. Skin secretion repels many predators.
Migration Characteristics:
(Global / Provincial)
    Local Migrant:
    Distant Migrant:
    Within Borders Migrant:
N /
Y /
N /
na /
Global Migration Comments: Migrations between uplands and breeding sites may traverse up to several hundred meters. Migrations often occur during or after seasonal rains. Males migrate earlier than females.
(Type / Subtype / Dependence)
Global Habitat Comments: Rough-skinned newts inhabit various wooded and open valley habitats that include the required aquatic breeding habitat, such as lakes, reservoirs, ponds, and stream pools or backwaters. They generally spend most of their lives on land, but in some areas adults may be aquatic throughout the year or during the dry season. Breeding females attach eggs singly on aquatic plants or submerged twigs.
Food Habits: Carnivore: Adult, Immature
Invertivore: Adult, Immature
Global Food Habits Comments: Larvae probably eat zooplankton and small aquatic invertebrates. Adults feed mostly on small terrestrial or aquatic invertebrates.
Global Phenology: Circadian: Adult, Immature
Global Phenology Comments: As is true of other land-dwelling amphibians, activity is minimal or absent during freezing weather or extended drought.

In contrast to most salamanders, newts commonly are active in the open on land in daytime. This behavior is associated with high levels of toxins in the bodies of newts in most of their range. The toxins protect the newts from fatal attacks by various kinds of predators. It is safe to handle newts, but do not ingest them or their skin secretions.
Provincial Phenology:
(1st half of month/
2nd half of month)
Colonial Breeder: N
Length(cm)/width(cm)/Weight(g): 22/ /
Elevation (m) (min / max): Global: 
Endemic: N
Global Range Comment: Range includes the Pacific coast of North America from southeastern Alaska to Santa Cruz County, California (Petranka 1998, Stebbins 2003). Records from the Rocky Mountains in Idaho and Montana, including populations in Latah County, Idaho, could represent introductions, though Monello and Wright (1997) recorded three small populations in Latah County, Idaho, in 1997. Elevational range extends from sea level to about 9,200 feet (Stebbins 2003).
Authors / Contributors
Global Information Author: Hammerson, G.
Last Updated: Jan 25, 2010
Provincial Information Author:
Last Updated:
References and Related Literature
Behler, J. L., and F. W. King. 1979. The Audubon Society field guide to North American reptiles and amphibians. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 719 pp.
Hodge, R. P. 1976. Amphibians and reptiles in Alaska, the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Alaska Northwest Publishing Company Anchorage, Alaska. 89 pp.
MacDonald, S.O. 2003. The amphibians and reptiles of Alaska. A Field Handbook. Unpublished report to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Juneau, AK.
Nussbaum, R.A. and Brodie, E.D. Jr. 1981. Taricha granulosa. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. 272:1-4.
Nussbaum, R.A., E.D. Brodie, Jr., and R.M. Storm. 1983. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Pacific Northwest. University Press of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho. 332 pp.
Ovaska, K, S. Lennart, C Engelstoft, L. Matthias, E. Wind and J. MacGarvie. 2004. Best Management Practices for Amphibians and Reptiles in Urban and Rural Environments in British Columbia. Ministry of Water Land and Air Protection, Ecosystems Standards and Planning, Biodiversity Branch
Stebbins, R. C. 1954a. Amphibians and reptiles of western North America. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.
Stebbins, R. C. 1985a. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Second edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. xiv + 336 pp.
Waters, D.L. 1992. Habitat associations, phenology, and biogeography of amphibians in the Stikine River basin and southeast Alaska. Unpubl. rep. of the 1991 pilot project. U.S. Dept. Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, California Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA. 61 pp.

Please visit the website Conservation Status Ranks for definitions of the data fields used in this summary report.

Suggested Citation:

B.C. Conservation Data Centre. 2010. Species Summary: Taricha granulosa. B.C. Minist. of Environment. Available: (accessed Jun 15, 2024).