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threatened and/or endangered

Red-bellied Newt Taricha rivularis


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Red-bellied Newt
credit: Pete/CCSA

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Alternate name: Redbelly Newt

Family: Salamandridae, Newts view all from this family

Description Grainy skin, and is brownish black on top with a tomato red underbelly.

Dimensions 14.3-19.4cm. (5 5/8-7 5/8")

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.

Breeding February. Males arrive at breeding site first. 12 clusters of 6-16 eggs laid March/April under rocks in mountain brooks.

Habitat Mountain streams & brooks.

Range California coastline north of San Francisco.

Discussion Until it has reached sexual maturity juvenile is underground. Moves towards section of stream where they hatched after they surface. Females release a chemical pheromone so males can find them. When it displays its colored belly it signals its poisonous skin. Lives over 15 years.