Red Eft – Welcome to a photographic journey through the woods, fields and marshes of New England
Find more of my photographs and information similar to that which I post in this blog in my book Naturally Curious, which is being published this fall.
Did you know that every red eft salamander you see wandering the forest floor inhabited a body of water for the first two to five months of its life? This salamander goes by two names, will have resided in two habitats during its lifetime, and be two different colors. An olive-green salamander called an eastern newt hatches from an egg in the spring, and resides on the bottom of a pond for much of its first summer. After shedding its gills and developing lungs, the young salamander crawls out of the water and turns an orangish-red; during this stage of its life it is referred to as a red eft. This is its most toxic stage (to predators); thus, the warning red coloration. In two or three years the eft will revert back to its original green coloration and return to a nearby body of water where it will live out the rest of its life. It is once again called an eastern newt. This is the time of year when it’s possible to find miniature red efts that have recently become landlubbers, such as the one photographed this morning posing on a penny.