Last week our daughter was excited to discover that one of the newts in our wildlife pond not only looked pregnant but was laying eggs in the hornwort. We watched as the female newt appeared to be slowly rocking against the leaf as she lay her egg. This has naturally sparked our kids interest and our daughter spends most evenings sitting by the pond observing, photographing and talking to the newts whilst our son who is a little younger is fascinated when he spots them swimming around. In this weeks article we are going to be looking at the life cycle of a newt.
The mating season for newts found in the UK is between the months of April and June when adult newts leave their winter hiding spots and head back to the pond for breeding. The female newt will lay several eggs a day and in total can lay up to 400 eggs in one mating season.
Life cycle of a newt
The female newt lays her eggs individually on the leaves of water weeds. The eggs are covered in a protective jelly and the newt uses her hind legs to wrap the leaf around the egg to hide it from predators. Inside the egg the larvae develops over a period of 2-4 weeks.
Once developed the tadpole emerges from the egg fully aquatic and resembling a very small fish with external gills attached to its neck for breathing. Roughly ten days after emerging from the egg the front legs of the newt develop followed by the hind legs. The external gills gradually shrink as the lungs fully develop. The tadpole has become a young newt.
The young newt can now breathe with its lungs and will leave the pond to live on land in search of food. It will take the young newt three years to mature into an adult where it will return to the pond to breed.
We hope you have enjoyed this weeks article and if you would like to make your own wildlife pond to attract newts then you may like to read our previous post. Create a wildlife pond with kids.