Lissotriton vulgaris | Smooth Newt | Earc Luachra


Species Biology


Smooth newt are a remarkable amphibian. They are mostly rather non-descript brown 'lizard-like' creatures found in damp environments sometime some distance from water. However they are most often encountered in ponds and shallow pools during the breeding season. Here they swim in the water and the male's appearance transforms into a larger much more colourful animal, spots develop as does its bright orange  underparts. Sometimes it also develops a prominent crest down its back. It also has webbed feet.  

Preferred environment

It is one of three species of amphibian found in Ireland. It spends part of its live cycle in ponds and shallow pools where it breeds, but when not breeding it can be found some distance from water, usually deep in vegetation. In winter it hibernates under cover, in tree roots, under dead wood and stones.  It is surprisingly widespread in Ireland, and can be found in many garden ponds. 


Smooth newts feed on invertebrates. 

Similar species

It has the same general shape of the Common Lizard, but it lacks scales and has webbed feet.  Lizards, being reptiles, like to bask in the open to increase their body temperature. On the other hand, Smooth Newts actively avoid sunshine to avoid their bodies drying out.  


World distribution(GBIF)

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2023

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