The Smooth Newt, also called Common Newt, is native to most of Europe (not far north/far south).
Skin is smooth, unlike the warty Great Crested Newt or the scaly lizard.
Outside the breeding season, male and female Smooth Newts look similar with a smooth olive-brown upperside
and pale orange belly. In the breeding season the male (above centre) develops dark spots, a brighter orange belly
and a small wavy crest along the back. The female (above right) has two thin lines along the back giving a boxy look
and may have tiny black spots.
Most newts hibernate above ground in winter and return to still water to breed in the spring.
The Smooth Newt is some 10cm length, slightly longer than the Palmate Newt (8-9) but shorter than the Great Crested
Newt (15) and the Common Lizard (15cm). Newts have 4 toes on their front feet whereas lizards have 5.
As an amphibian, the larval stage of a newt is called a tadpole, just like larvae of frogs. Newt larvae retain their feathery
gills while growing front and back legs.