NATURE KNOWLEDGE: Red Eft

This little fellow is a familiar and friendly part of woodland life. The red eft is the immature stage of the aquatic Red Spotted Newt.

On rainy days, it is easy to find red efts on the damp forest floor at our campsite in Upstate New York. They eat small insects and worms and , as all amphibians do, need to keep its skin damp and supple.

They start out life in ponds. The adult Red Spotted Salamanders are totally aquatic. They are also green.

The Red Eft lives on land for up to 7 years. Their red color is a warning to any animal who might find them delicious. They are quite poisonous if eaten. They are fun to handle and safe too but always wash your hands after handling any animal especially amphibians. Many have toxic and distasteful secretions.

On one occasion a few years ago, I witnessed one who was deformed. Amphibians (frogs,salamanders) have been on earth for very much longer than mankind. Recently, there have been some dramatic dangers to their survival. Scientists are studying if humans and their pesticides are responsible.

Birth defect ~ No right eye and a stubby tail.

When the eft is mature, it will turn green and develop gills and a flat tail. I constantly find them in many sizes and colorations.

Don’t forget that eft makes a delightful word for amazing teachers AND it comes in handy while playing word games too. 🙂

Loving dampness on forest floor.

13 thoughts on “NATURE KNOWLEDGE: Red Eft

    • sillyfrogsusan 04/24/2012 / 6:52 am

      They are some of my favorites…check out my photos at redbubble for more views of amazing amphibians 😉

    • sillyfrogsusan 04/24/2012 / 6:39 am

      They are so small and harmless…my granddaughter and I just love finding them. Thanks!

  1. P.S. I Love Soap Co. 04/24/2012 / 6:40 am

    So interesting! Quick question…. What are the things I find in my garden under rocks that have the same type of body but are dark colored?

    • sillyfrogsusan 04/24/2012 / 6:43 am

      Probably they are red striped salamanders. They need extra moisture and if you catch them by the tail, it may come off in your hand. A wise defense that Mother Nature has given to them. They just grow a new tail. I’ll showcase them soon! Thanks!

      • sillyfrogsusan 04/24/2012 / 6:47 am

        They are called the Northern two lined salamander, if I am thinking of the same animal. I had to look them up! Thanks!

      • P.S. I Love Soap Co. 04/24/2012 / 6:59 am

        Great thanks for the info:)

  2. Delores William 04/24/2012 / 8:24 am

    sitting in my newsroom stressing and then looked at my email and saw this, Cheered me up. thank you

    • sillyfrogsusan 04/24/2012 / 8:35 am

      Thank-you…So happy that it did. Orange you glad that I posted it? 😉

  3. Judy 04/24/2012 / 11:46 pm

    So colorful and interesting.
    I just got back from a trip to GA and spent some time observing my friend’s “pet” Blue Skink. He and his family live in her garage. (not my idea of fun!)
    He was interesting to look at…red head, and of good size, not like the little salamanders my parents had all over in FL.

    • sillyfrogsusan 04/25/2012 / 6:22 am

      We don’t have Skinks here in the Northeast unless they are pets…darn 🙂
      Thanks for your visit and comment!

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