Name: Smooth Newt
Scientific name: Triturus vulgaris
Nature Stars: 20
About: Newts are amphibians, breeding in ponds during the spring and spending most of the rest of the year feeding on invertebrates in woodland, hedgerows and tussocky grassland. They hibernate underground, amongst tree roots and in old walls. The Smooth Newt is also known as the Common Newt, and the species you are most likely to find in your garden pond.
How to identify: Up to 10 cm. Browny-grey with an orange belly with neat black spots all over. Males have a crest running the full length of their body and tail.
Where: A common species found throughout the country, except for parts of western Scotland, west Wales, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and the Isles of Scilly.
Fantastic fact: Male newts attract their mates by 'dancing' at night, waving their tails back and forth in front of the females.
Photograph credit: David Longshaw