Great crested newt (Triturus cristatus)

Length: 6-8cm

Weight: 4-19g

Average lifespan: 10-15 years

Conservation status

Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework. Listed as a European Protected Species under Annex IV of the European Habitats Directive.

When to see

March to September


The great crested newt is often compared to a ‘mini dinosaur’ as a result of its wavy crest and warty skin. It is the biggest of all of the newts found in the UK and is almost black in colour with spotted flanks and a striking, orange belly. They are voracious predators, taking invertebrates, tadpoles and even small newts. As they grow into adults they develop a toxin in their skin to deter predators.