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Brandon Ballengée and Stan Sessions, Red-spotted Newt / Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens (Eft Stage)

Brandon Ballengée and Stan Sessions, Red-spotted Newt / Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens (Eft Stage)

2002/2003
Unique IRIS print on watercolour paper

The Red-spotted Newts are unique in that they undergo two metamorphoses- the first is a transformation from an aquatic gilled larva to a brightly colored air-breathing terrestrial form. The second is into a breeding aquatic adult. The sexually immature land phase is usually called an Eft while the aquatic adults are called Newts. The Eft stage may last anywhere from 1-7 years. The skin of the Eft is toxic and their bright coloration serves as a warning. IT is not so rare to find an Eft wandering about in broad daylight after rain-almost daring predators to try a taste! When Efts transform into adults, their red background color changes to olive green or brown, but the red spots remain. They also develop a more compressed tail that helps them swim in the aquatic environment into which they move to breed. Adults reach lengths of nearly 5 inches, while Efts usually reach only about 3 inches.

Courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, Inc.

Image dimensions: 420 × 640 pixels