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newt population

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: Herpetofauna Native to the UK
Forum Name: Smooth Newt
Forum Description: Forum for all issues concerning Triturus vulgaris
Printed Date: 26 Feb 2020 at 11:19pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 -

Topic: newt population
Posted By: robgtr
Subject: newt population
Date Posted: 09 Apr 2017 at 12:04pm
I have a wildlife pond approx. 2mx1m, maybe 50cm deep max. There are about 30 (thirty) common newts. Looks like aggressive behaviour at night, newt attacking newt face to face. Wondering what population this size pond could support. No frog tadpoles to eat so what are they living on? Are newts cannibalistic? Thanks for any info,  Rob.

Posted By: GemmaJF
Date Posted: 09 Apr 2017 at 3:16pm
Hi Rob,

I think the behaviour you are seeing is part of the courtship ritual.

The males will intercept a female by going right up to her face and stopping her. It could look aggressive, it is more persistent and enthusiastic. There then follows a ritual 'dance' of tail wafting, chasing, posturing and all sorts.

I have never known newts of the same species to turn on each other, they can leave the pond to feed on damp nights or just find things in the pond. The exception is Great Crested Newts could feed on smaller species and I guess an adult could take a very young newt, but I do not think adults of the same species would attack each other. At least I have never heard of it or witnessed it.

The population sounds just fine for the size of the pond, it is unusual for a natural population of amphibians to be 'overcrowded' though it can often look like it is to us.

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