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.
- Science: Red Efts (time.com)