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Most pregnant newt ever...

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: Herpetofauna Native to the UK
Forum Name: Palmate Newt
Forum Description: Forum for all issues concerning Triturus helveticus
Printed Date: 31 May 2020 at 11:39am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 -

Topic: Most pregnant newt ever...
Posted By: liamrussell
Subject: Most pregnant newt ever...
Date Posted: 29 May 2014 at 11:22am
Saw this in a pond last night. I've seen some pretty big females before but never anything this size.

Sorry about the ropey photos...

Posted By: GemmaJF
Date Posted: 29 May 2014 at 11:47am
Most newts should be pretty much  exhausted of eggs by now, disease of some sort?

Posted By: liamrussell
Date Posted: 29 May 2014 at 12:41pm
There was a lot of laying going on last night and other pregnant females about too so they are definitely still going at this pond. There were eggs of a range of ages on the plants, some pretty new and some already hatched.

It could be a disease. I've seen them when the whole newt swells up due to something going awry with their osmoregulation but with them the tail always swells too and becomes round. This one had a normal tail for an aquatic phase newt, i.e. flat. It could be something else, I know reptiles can get "egg bound" and can't lay their eggs for some reason (I've seen a sand lizard which had only managed to lay half its clutch and the rest appeared stuck in the body), so could be something similar.

Posted By: Caleb
Date Posted: 30 May 2014 at 10:54am
Looks like bloat to me- it doesn't always affect the tail, in my experience. Was it floating near the surface? Bloated newts sometimes find it hard to stay underwater. 

There's a good article on bloat in (mostly captive) newts on" rel="nofollow -

Extreme gravidity doesn't extend as near to the head as that, even the most gravid females are usually vaguely pear-shaped.  

Posted By: liamrussell
Date Posted: 01 Jun 2014 at 10:32am
Thanks Caleb, interesting. I'd not seen bloat like that before where it doesn't affect the tail, and it looks fairly similar to a couple of the photos there.

The newt seemed to behave pretty normally, I caught it from the bottom and it swam to the bottom when I released it again, which is one of the reasons I thought it might not be bloat. Whenever I've seen newts with bloat before they've been sluggish at the surface and barely able to move. Maybe it was in the early stages.

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