This little fellow was running around the peas in my garden the other morning. What a sight to see! He is a red-spotted newt, also known as a red-spotted eft or eastern newt. This particular newt has three life stages, including the aquatic larva or tadpole stage, the red eft or terrestrial juvenile stage, and the aquatic adult stage. In the photos, this amphibian is in the eft stage.
Eastern newts dwell in moist environments in both coniferous and deciduous forests, and in or around lakes and ponds. They love a muddy home! They avoid predators by secreting toxin through their skin.
You can see in the first photo how small these bright orange newts are when compared to my hand. From nose to tail, they are usually about 3-4 inches long. Efts eat a variety of foods, which may include spiders, caterpillars, flies and frog eggs.