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10 Great Crested Newt Facts

Ten facts about the Great Crested Newt (GCN; Triturus cristatus)

  1. Individual Great Crested Newts can be identified by looking at their bellies, as the pattern of black spots they each sport is as individual as a fingerprint.
  2. Though it is called the great crested newt, only the males actually have crests.  The crests are most prominent during the mating season.
  3. Great Crested Newts can reach up to 17cm and are the largest and least common newt species in the UK.
  4. Great Crested Newts is one of four amphibians protected by the UK biodiversity action plan.  The other three are the Common Toad, the Natterjack Toad and the Pool Frog.
  5. After mating each female lays around 200 - 300 eggs, and wraps them inside the leaves of pond plants.
  6. The skin of a great crested newt contains glands that secrete a poisonous substance to deter predators.
  7. The Great Crested Newt is also known as the Northern Crested Newt and the Warty Newt.
  8. Juvenile Great Crested Newts are called ‘Efts’
  9. Great crested newts have been around for approximately 40 million years
  10. The Froglife website has a great guide showing how to identify great crested newts and has ‘The Great Crested Newt Conservation Handbook’ a comprehensive guide to habitat management, pond creation and restoration.