Palmate Newt  

Triturus, (Lissotriton), helveticus  

Triton Palmé

The Palmate Newt is the smallest European newt

 with a maximum length of 10 cm and gets its name from the fact that at breeding times, when in its aquatic phase, the male develops webs between its toes which disappear again when it changes back to its terrestrial phase. The skin can be shades of olive green or brown, smooth in the aquatic phase but slightly granulated in terrestrial phase. A dark band runs back from the nose through the eye. Females and larvae can easily be confused with the Smooth Newt, the main criteria for distinguishing the two is that the Palmate Newt has an unspotted pink throat.
Female Palmate Newt in breeding season, France
Very small juvenile Palmate Newt, France

They can be found almost everywhere in France

with the exception of the extreme south east. They are considered to be relatively common, although they seem to require bushy cover near to the water where they breed. Almost all types of water are used, ponds, lakes, canals, ditches and slow flowing rivers and in the terrestrial phase they often remain within 150 metres of this, although they are capable of travelling several kilometres in search of a new breeding place. Prey is mainly small insects and their eggs. Hibernation, which is variable, can take place on land under natural debris or old tree stumps or in the south of France they may spend this period in the water.

The period for reproduction is somewhat variable

the initial period is early in the year, February-March but can also occur a second time later in the year in warmer regions. The female lays around 400 eggs over a period of time, these take 2 to 3 weeks to hatch and metamorphosis occurs about 3 months later.

Sexual maturity is after 4 or 5 years and lifespan is 6 to 8 years.

A common and widespread species

that is not in any danger mainly due to its ability to make use of almost any available source of water, however there has been an overall decline in numbers.