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Smooth Newt male and female
The smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris), also known as the common newt is the most common newt of the L. vulgaris species and is an abundant species throughout Europe (except the far north).

Feeding Smooth NewtsEdit

All newts are carnivorous throughout their entire life, unlike frogs or toads who are not carnivorous during their tadpole stage.

Feeding LarvaesEdit

Larvae need to be fed constantly. It is important that there is (almost) always food available.

  1. When larvae hatch from their eggs they will start eating food reserves contained within their yolk sacs.
  2. After this, they start eating freshwater plankton, which grows in ponds, trenches with water that is a couple of years old. The plankton is very small and can not be seen by the human eye.
  3. As the newts grow in size they will also grow legs. First frontal, and shortly after hind legs. When the legs begin to grow the larvae should be large enough to eat small critters seeable by the human eye, such as waterfleas. Basically, when a waterflea is about the same size is the newts mouth, the newt can eat it.
  4. As the newts grow larger they can also eat larger critters, think of critters such as

Feeding JuvenilesEdit

Larvae have gills, but they will gradually shrimp while lungs are being developed. At one point the juvenile smooth newt will try to go on land and needs to be fed landcritters. The newts are still very small at this stage (2,5 cm ~ 4 cm), thus can only eat tiny critters, such as:

It is also possible to still feed them some water critters, such as tubifex and red mosquito larvae. Smooth newts, once on land, more often than not dislike water though and will stay away from it. However, if you put the tubifex in a very undeep box, in which they can still stand without their head being underwater, they can still be fed tubifex, artemia, etcetera.

Feeding AdultsEdit

Adults and young adults are much easier to feed. They basically eat anything that you can find in your garden, a meadow, forest, pond, etcetera. Everything that has been listed thus far can be eaten (however small critters such as springtails and waterfleas won't quickly satisfy their hunger).

  • earthworms
  • spiders
  • tadpoles of frogs, toads and newts
  • young fish
  • grasshoppers
  • crickets
  • isopods
  • caterpillars

What not to feedEdit

Smooth newts are known to dislike, have no interest in, or being predators of:

  • ants (no interest, predators (large groups))
  • ladybugs (no interest)
  • (water) mite (no interest)
  • snout beatles (no interest)
  • great diving beatle (predator)
  • great diving beatle larvae (predator)

Photo GalleryEdit

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