Friday, April 20, 2012

Some Nice Moves from our Garden Newts ....


We only recently realised that the small pond that I installed three years ago, which is only about one metre long, has been colonised by palmate newts, which are now resplendent in their courtship colours...... which are not so evident from this angle ....


.... but show up nicely when you can see the amphibian's flanks ........























...... and tail.


Tonight I spent a fascinating half-hour watching the whole courtship ritual. These two are patrolling the dead leaves on the bottom of the pond, through a blizzard of water fleas that will, in due course, provide plenty of food for the newt tadpoles.


There was a lot of chasing going on, over and under the leaves, and then ...


.... this one spotted a potential mate ....


.... and chose the brightest-coloured beech leaf in the pond as his dance floor, where he began to display some of his best moves ....


...... first positioning himself at right-angles to her and using his tail to waft water in her direction ....


...... then executing an acrobatic handstand and ninety degree turn ....


..... until he could waft the stream of water directly over her with his vibrating tail.

Then the batteries on the camera (a waterproof Pentax W20) ran out ....but he's probably still dazzling her with his dancing now, as darkness falls.

8 comments:

  1. What a fantastic sight to see Phil; and right in your own garden.
    Great shots of the courtship

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  2. Fantastic courtship! Great pictures, thanks for sharing.

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  3. A great series of shots. I haven't seen mine since the warm spell a while back.

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  4. I've found a few more in there since I took the photos Keith - it's getting a bit crowded for such a small pool!

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  5. Thanks lotusleaf. Once they've spawned and leave the pond they are very secretive animals...

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  6. Hi John, the water warms up fast in this little pond, so maybe that's triggered their activity...

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