Have you seen Newts return to mate?
It’s fascinating! If you capture it on video or photograph please share with us all on our Facebook group - Waterside Nursery - Ponds, Plants and Wildlife UK.
- Newts return to mate in their breeding ponds in Spring when the night time temperature regularly reaches below 10C.
- They travel at night for safety from predators.
- Newts hide in compost heaps, under stones or burrowing under sheds for Winter.
- You need to provide plenty of cover around the pond for the breeding adults.
- Use either plants, old logs or stones.
- Newts prefer ponds covered with a lot of rafting plants on the marginal shelf and plenty of oxygenating plants in the deeper water.
- They use the leaves of the rafting plants for the female to lay her eggs in.
- Later they use the oxygenating plants to hide in for protection.
- Ponds without fish are more successful for breeding newts.
- If you are lucky, you can watch the newts mating ritual (often at night or early morning)
- The male dances around the female flashing his orange belly and swishing his tail with a silver stripe.
- Once he gets her attention he releases aromatic secretions.
- She follows him and he release his sperm.
- She should collect the sperm on her underbelly.
- She absorbs the sperm leading to the fertilisation of her eggs.
- The eggs are laid into the fold of a leaf of rafting plants like Myosotis scorpioides, Veronica beccabunga, Mentha aquatica or Rorippa nasturtium aquaticum.
- To find out if you have female newts laying eggs in your pond - check your rafting pond plant clumps looking for signs of folded leaves at the water surface.
For more info and images on Newts and their life cycle see our Tips and Advice page: How to help the newts in your pond.