Red Eft and Eastern Newt

Red Eft Eastern Newt

Scientific Name: Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens

Total Length:

  • Red Eft: 1.5 – 3.5 inches
  • Eastern Newt: 2.25 – 4.75 inches

Range: Eastern North America from southern Canada and the Great Lakes region to Florida and eastern Texas

Habitat:

  • Red Eft: They may be found in wooded areas near fresh bodies of water under rotten logs, rocks, and leaves.
  • Eastern Newt: They may be found in lakes, ponds, marshes, ditches, quiet portions of streams, and other shallow, vegetated waters. They can be seen resting motionless, swimming in open water, or crawling along the bottom or vegetation.

Sex Determination:

  • Red Eft: It is hard to determine the sex when they are at this age.
  • Eastern Newt: During the mating season males have high tail fins, black nuptial pads on their hindlegs and toes, and swollen vents.

Reproduction:

  • Red Eft: They don’t mate at this age.
  • Eastern Newt: The mating season is in the autumn and the spring. The male grabs the female around the throat or chest from above and stays there for hours. Then the mating will begin. The female will then lay 200 – 400 eggs singly attached to aquatic plants. Adults will sometimes leave the water after mating.

Metamorphosis:

The eggs will hatch in 3 – 8 weeks. The larvae will be small with gills. They then metamorphose into the Red Eft, which spend 1 – 3 years on land before becoming a sexually mature Eastern Newt.

Care In Captivity:

  • Tank Size:
    • Red Eft: A maximum of seven efts in a 10 gallon tank would be alright. They enjoy being in groups.
    • Eastern Newt: A maximum of four newts in a 10 gallon tank would be alright.
  • Substrate:
    • Red Eft:
      • Terrarium: The substrates that you can use are soil or gravel.
      • Aqua-Terrarium: On the land side you can use soil or gravel. On the water side you can use gravel or no substrate like us. Having no substrate makes the water side much easier to clean.
    • Eastern Newt:
      • Aqua-Terrarium: On the land side you can use soil or gravel. On the water side you can use gravel or no substrate like us. Having no substrate makes the water side much easier to clean.
      • Aquarium: The substrates that you can use are gravel or no substrate like us. Having no substrate makes the water much easier to clean.
  • Decorations:
    • Red Eft:
      • Terrarium: You can have a log, bark, sticks, leaves, sphagnum moss, and fake plants in the tank. You can use live plants if you like, but you will have to replace them when they die. The water should include something for them to climb out like cork bark or a big fake plant.
      • Aqua-Terrarium: On the land side you can have a log, bark, sticks, leaves, sphagnum moss, and fake plants in the tank. You can use live plants if you like, but you will have to replace them when they die. On the water side you can have rocks, cork bark, or suction cup plants.
    • Eastern Newt:
      • Aqua-Terrarium: On the land side you can have a log, bark, sticks, leaves, sphagnum moss, and fake plants in the tank. You can use live plants if you like, but you will have to replace them when they die. On the water side you can have rocks, cork bark, or suction cup plants.
      • Aquarium: You can have rocks, cork bark, or suction cup plants.
  • Water/Water Bowl:
    • Red Eft:
      • Terrarium: A water bowl is not needed but you can have one if you want. If you don’t have a water bowl then spray the tank with water everyday with a spray bottle.
      • Aqua-Terrarium: A water bowl is not needed on the land side. Just spray the tank with water everyday with a spray bottle. The water should definately have a filter. Depending on the size of the tank will decide on which filter you should use. A bottom filter would probably be best to use but if you have yours in a large tank, a power filter may be better. You should also have a water thermometer.
    • Eastern Newt:
      • Aqua-Terrarium: A water bowl is not needed on the land side. Just spray the tank with water everyday with a spray bottle. The water should definately have a filter. Depending on the size of the tank will decide on which filter you should use. A bottom filter would probably be best to use but if you have yours in a large tank, a power filter may be better. You should also have a water thermometer.
      • Aquarium: The water should definately have a filter. Depending on the size of the tank will decide on which filter you should use. A bottom filter would probably be best to use but if you have yours in a large tank, a power filter may be better. You should also have a water thermometer.
  • Tank Lid: You can have a flip top lid, a screen, or any other type of lid on the tank. There should be good ventilation.
  • Heating: You can use a heat rock, a heating pad, or an electric blanket to heat the tank.

  • Lighting:
    No additional lighting is needed but you may use a bulb with ultraviolet radiation if you want.
  • Temperature/Humidity: The temperature should be no more than 75 degrees F in the day and no less than 55 degrees F at night. In the winter, three months at 32 – 41 degrees F will stimulate hibernation. Doing this makes them healthier and encourages them to breed. You should have an air thermometer in the tank. It should have low humidity. You may use a humidity gauge which will show you how much humidity is in the tank.
  • Feeding:
    • Red Eft: The diet should have variety. Feed them crickets, earthworms, slugs, spiders, and other small invertebrates. They should all be sprinkled with vitamin and calcium supplements.
    • Eastern Newt: The diet should have variety. Feed them tubifex worms, earthworms, crickets, small feeder fish, slugs, spiders, and other small invertebrates.
  • Maintenance:
    • Red Eft:
      • Terrarium: Keep the tank and water bowl (if you have one) clean. If you don’t have a water bowl then spray the tank with water everyday with a spray bottle.
      • Aqua-Terrarium: Keep the tank clean and change the filter fiber and ammo-carb in the filter when needed (about every 1.5 months). Spray the tank with water everyday with a spray bottle.
    • Eastern Newt:
      • Aqua-Terrarium: Keep the tank clean and change the filter fiber and ammo-carb in the filter when needed (about every 1.5 months). Spray the tank with water everyday with a spray bottle.
      • Aquarium: Change the filter fiber and ammo-carb in the filter when needed (about every 1.5 months).

Other Information: Red Efts avoid direct sunlight but sometimes walk around in broad daylight.

Eastern Newts sometimes remain active all winter and may be seen through the ice.

Sometimes the Red Eft stage is skipped because the land conditions are worse than the water conditions.

The Red Efts that are forming into Eastern Newts and the aquatic adults who had to leave their ponds because they dried up, may be very dark or even black.




 

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