The “fingers and toes” are un-webbed at all times. Colouration varies depending on whether it is in land phase or the aquatic breeding phase as does the size of the males crest. In land phase the colour is generally dark, brown or olive green with darker spots and light speckling and the males crest is greatly reduced. The underneath is yellow with bold black markings which are unique to each individual. In the aquatic breeding phase the males’ crest, which is jagged, becomes much larger reaching from tail to head, colouration becomes bolder and bluer and there is evidence of yellow on the legs, fingers and toes. In the case of the female there is an increase in the size of the smooth crest on the tail with similar changes in colour.
.....this can be anything from 30 to 500 metres, rarely further, where they live in undergrowth, woodland leaves and debris where they prey on worms, slugs, insects and their eggs and larvae. Hibernation or reduced activity takes place around the middle of November in holes in the ground, under rocks, piles of old wood and various other underground cavities.
There has been very serious population loss in many areas due to destruction of habitat with substantial loss of ponds, the introduction of fish, population fragmentation and genetic isolation.