The Smooth or Common Newt (Triturus vulgaris) has turned up in the ditches around the Walthamstow inner marsh. Adults grow to 8-10 cm long. The skin is smooth and may look slightly velvety outside the breeding season. The male can be distinguished from the female by his larger throat spots and large swollen cloaca (reproductive opening). During the breeding season, the male acquires a high wavy crest along the back and tail, and is marked all over with black spots. In both sexes the belly ranges in colour from yellow orange, marked with dark blotches which are finer in the female. The female lacks a crest and is drab compared to the male.
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Lea Marshes