The Red Bellied Newt (classified by scientists as Taricha rivularis) ranges from 5 to 8 inches in length. It is blackish in color with small, bright red spots on its back. The solid red underside of the newt and its red feet makes it clear where it got its name! It is important to remember that Red-Bellied Newts have a deadly poison under their skin--even handling them is often dangerous.
Red Bellied Newts are usually found in wooded underground burrows near fast moving streams. They only come back to the surface once every 2 or 3 years, and then only to find the water in which they were born. They breed in that water, and then return to their burrows. They eat worms, insects, and occasionally other amphibians.
Males will come to the home breeding site first, usually in late February. Once the females arrive, they will lay eggs on the underside of large rocks in the flowing water. Usually each female Red Bellied Newt will lay eggs in groups of 8-10, sometimes as many as 12 groups total. The eggs hatch larve in the late summer. After the larve transform into newts, they too return underground.