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California Newt Taricha torosa


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California Newt, Coast Range subspecies
credit: Chris Brown

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Family: Salamandridae, Newts view all from this family

Description Rusty brown with orange belly. Rough skin.

Dimensions 12.7-19.7cm. (5-7 3/4")

Warning The skin secretions of the Newts of the genus Taricha contain toxins similar to those found in pufferfish liver. These are among the deadliest natural toxins yet discovered. A healthy adult will die from eating just one Newt. Care should be taken to wash hands thoroughly after handling Newts.

Subspecies Coast Range - brown with yellow/orange belly. California - San diego/Mendocino County.
Sierra - reddish/brown. Sierra Nevada slope.

Breeding December-May. 1-2 dozen eggs laid on underwater plants/forest litter. Transforms in fall/spring.

Habitat Streams, ponds & lakes.

Range California coastline, particularly Sierra Nevada.

Discussion Seen on land during heavy rainfall. Borrows in forest litter and rodent burrows when water is scarce. Shows underbelly when threatened.