Image 90 of 1833
Great Crested Newt Triturus cristatus Length 14-16cm Britain’s largest newt. Present in breeding ponds February-August. Adult is mainly blackish brown with variable dark spots and patches, and white-tipped warts. Underparts, from neck to vent, are orange-yellow with black spots; blackish throat has smallish orange-yellow spots. Breeding male develops large, jagged dorsal crest and undulating crest on tail; pale stripe runs along centre of tail. Female, non-breeding male and juvenile lack a crest and body is darker; note yellowish stripe along lower edge of tail. Scarce and local. Favours neutral to slightly alkaline, fish-free ponds that seldom dry up for breeding. Woods and scrub are used at other times. Protected by law in Britain and parts of Europe.