Newts!

We thought we had two newts, then 4 and now we have seen 7 newts in our pond today - all adults.  We were given some tadpoles, we had plenty of water boat men and a couple of pond skaters as well as dragonfly lava and almost all of these have disappeared.  The newts are lovely but will they eat all these creatures?  We haven't had any mosquitoes this year which is a bonus - are the newts responsible for their demise too?
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  • JellyfireJellyfire SuffolkPosts: 737
    They will eat them, but in my opinion that’s how it should be. A balance will be struck, if there’s plenty of food there will be plenty of newts, then as food dwindles the newts (or some of them) will leave and there will be a bloom of other wildlife. There’s a pretty regular correlation of frogs and newts, with one population in a pond exploding at the expense of the other, and then a couple of years later it will switch around. 

    At this time of year with a load suddenly congregating I think it’s likely you’ll have many more very soon!
  • The Newts will eat both frog spawn and fish eggs but as above, in a decent sized pond, a balance can usually be struck.
    I don't actually know whether the Newts go for Pond Snail eggs or even the larva of damsel/dragon flies.  Bit difficult unless you actually see them doing it.
    If you have Grass snakes visiting, they can also be responsible for nipping into the pond and having a quick scoff. 
  • We do have plenty of pond snails in one part of the pond (the stream) where the newts don't seem to be able to swim into - No grass snakes Philippa, but I understand what you are both saying about the balance - it is obviously the year of the newt and perhaps next year too as I have seen some offspring already.  I read that I should make a log/wood pile for them to hibernate into once they have done their mating - I just hope the neighbours cat doesn't make a meal of them - although he did enjoy the frogs a couple of years ago....
  • I don't know just how much cover Newts require for their hibernation but I do recall making a boob a couple of years ago.........I was digging a hole to plant something .....probably a couple of metres away from the pond towards the south side and was horrified when I unearthed 2 newts.  I'd gone down a good spade's depth before I saw them.  Needless to say, I carefully covered them over again and found somewhere else to stick my plant.  
    At that point, the soil was reasonably heavy clay but close to an ancient Fig tree so perhaps enough "broken" ground for the newts to dig into.
    I have also found them under a paving slab which sat just an inch or so off the soil but surrounded by ground cover planting.
  • Yes, we will have to be careful not to disturb them once they leave the pond.  I remember many years ago unearthing one under the soil in this garden - goodness knows what happened to it - but I had never seen one since - they must have mated in the pond last year since there are 7 adult ones - I am so pleased with my "find" this morning.
  • The hopeful herpetologistThe hopeful herpetologist West YorksPosts: 406
    Dragonfly larvae are more likely to eat the newts than the other way round. Most of my frog spawn was chomped by my newts this year, but it does go in cycles as jellyfire suggests...some years the frogs will dominate, some years the newts.
  • PicidaePicidae RutlandPosts: 629
    I saw 12 newts in my pond this afternoon but plenty of frogspawn too. Perhaps they’re saving it for ‘afters’.
  • PosyPosy Posts: 1,501
    I get toad spawn in my pond but the frogs gave up - theirs is always eaten by newts. I imagine they go elsewhere. We do have lots of insects and dragonflies, pond snails and sometimes a grass snake.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 53,375
    On our Suffolk small holding some of our Gt Crested newts used to try to hibernate under our big doormats ... I used to find them squashed and desiccated underneath when I found time to do some h*sew*rk.  :'(.
    They obviously didn't know they were endangered or they'd have taken more care of themselves. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • A few years ago my neighbour gave me 5 newts he had uncovered when taking up an old patio as part of his work. I put them on the pebbled area at the edge of my pond to give them the option of where to go. Several years passed and not a sign of them so I thought I had lost them but last year I saw a large adult one so hopefully they have grown and multiplied in secret.

    I can waste so much time just sitting and watching the ponds inhabitants and visitors.

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