The Ref Eft Salamander: It’s All Newt to Me (Har Har Har….)

This past weekend, while traipsing around the forest, we uncovered the Cutest Thing at the Cabin So Far:

And just who is this adorably citrusy looking creature? Let’s zoom in:

Well, on first observation, all I could think was: I have no idea what species this is, but whoa, he’s teeny-tiny, or as we say in Tejas, straight-up tee-nigh-nee. Below, notice the leaf to his left and the gigantic looking acorn above his head — both dwarfing him as he tries to escape my giggles and Nikon lens, which must seem like a looming, hungry amphibious black hole to him.

So, what the eff is it? I first guessed it was possibly a red eft when I remembered that the closest town to us, Wurtsboro, has an art gallery called the Red Eft, and the logo is a cute little orange lizard. So I did the googling, and bingo! Species identification complete.

Specifically, the red eft is the teenager phase of the red-spotted Eastern newt, a type of salamander. They start out as chipper tadpoles, but then sprout legs and head for drier land, where they develop a nice orange hue. As the days pass, they grow exhausted and cynical and head back permanently for the warm water, much like I do on my weekends and vacations.

As with most cute things, they are often kept caged, as pets.

4 thoughts on “The Ref Eft Salamander: It’s All Newt to Me (Har Har Har….)

  1. Don Victory says:

    Oh gosh, he’s even cuter than Twurpy! Oh now, I just feel disloyal. Those Red Efts are sooooo adorable!! Hope you can get more pictures of them.

    By the way, Twurpy has been very busy this year. I think he has great great great great grandchildren living in his little hidden space in a crack near our foundation. Actually, there are Twurpys all over our yard helping to keep down the terrible Corpus Christi bug population.

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