Marbled Newts are one of the larger newts in France, the male grows to 14 cm and the female to 17 cm. It has a robust appearance with a large head and any confusion with the Crested Newt can be distinguished by the size of their head and the bold colouration of the body which is a vivid green marked with black spots. Females and Juveniles have an orange band bordered with thin black lines running down the centre of the back. Males in terrestrial phase have a slightly raised crest with occasional orange marks, in aquatic breeding phase this crest becomes much larger and is green with vertical black bands, but smoother in outline than the Crested Newt.
Marbled Newts are present in the western half of France and absent in the east, there is a small but apparently stable population in Nord that was introduced. They are confined to lower altitudes and don't live above 1000 metres with a preference for habitats that have bushy cover, hedgerows and woodlands. Various types of water are used for their eggs including lakes, ponds, canals and even large ditches or ruts although rarely where fish are present. Acid or slightly saline water is acceptable. In their terrestrial phase they live in wet or damp places, wetlands and occasionally in cellars. Prey is made up of insects, small slugs, caterpillars etc. Activity is generally nocturnal. Hibernation or reduced activity occurs from October until February in various cavities, tree roots etc.
They commence to make their way to the water for reproduction in February until mid May where a female lays around 400 eggs which hatch after about 16 days, metamorphosis follows in 2 to 3 months. Adults usually leave the water immediately after breeding, sexual maturity is reached after 6 years during which time the juveniles remain on land, lifespan is a maximum of 14 years.
They are in decline in their northern range and also in regions where hedgerows and woodland have been removed to create larger fields and cereal plains, notably Poitou-Charentes and the Aquitaine Bassin for Maize crops. Fully protected species.