Saturday, 21 June 2008

Newts and efts

Couldn't resist posting these pictures of a female common newt and baby (eft), both from our pond. The eft has frilly external gills at its neck, and is altogether much more delicately-formed than a froglet.


kath said...

Ooh I was a big fan of newts as a child, often used to catch them and keep them in an old washing up bowl. Never knew the babies were called efts though.

Kate said...

I think I'm right in saying adults used to be called 'ewts', but over time 'an ewt' became corrupted into 'a newt'. Not sure of the timescale involved, though.

Kate said...

Just had a look: 'ewt' is Midddle English, so the shift probably happened some time after 1500.

Efts are sort of teenage newts, between tadpole stage and their first breeding season. But I'm wondering, actually, if mine still has gills, whether it's advanced enough to be called an eft.