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Smooth Newt Triturus vulgaris Length 9-10cm Well-marked newt. Usually hibernates underground November-February. Returns to breeding ponds in early spring. Performs elaborate courtship displays prior to egg-laying. Adult is buffish brown with whitish throat variably dark-spotted. Females have small black spots over rest of body that sometimes coalesce to form lines along body and onto tail. Males are marked with large, blotchy spots, most intense in breeding season when they acquire wavy crest along back and around tail; belly is variably flushed orange and adorned with dark spots. Juvenile is similar to adult female. Favours fish-free neutral to alkaline ponds for breeding. At other times, found in open woodland, commons and mature gardens.