Pacific Northwest
Reptiles & Amphibians

Rough-skinned Newt - Taricha granulosa

(Skilton, 1849)

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Related or Similar Northwest Salamanders:

Northwestern Salamander


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  Adult, Grays Harbor County, Washington  

Adult, breeding aquatic phase,
Pacific County, Washington
Adult in defensive posture, with coiled tail. Lewis County, Washington
Adult underwater,
Douglas County Oregon
Adult, in defensive pose,
Douglas County Oregon
Adult, in defensive pose,
Douglas County Oregon
Several breeding adult newts in a breeding pond eating the eggs of another amphibian, probably Northwestern Salamander or Western Long-toed Salamander eggs.
Adult, underwater in a small pool at the edge of a river, Douglas County Oregon Male and female in amplexus,
Pacific County, Washington
From above, the eyes do not reach the outline of the head, while those of
T. t. torosa
Lower eyelids are dark. Eye has a yellow patch, unlike the solid black eyes of T. rivularis.  
Egg on submerged blade of grass, Thurston County, Washington.
© 2004 William Leonard

Large mass of adult newts underwater in early September, southern Oregon
@ 2005 David Mikkelsen

There are aprox. 2000 newts in this mass, according to David Mikkelsen. He has observed that after the spring breeding season the newts congregate in underwater leaf litter in the shaded still water at the edge of this river and stay there until the beginning of the fall rains when they once again return to the surrounding forest.

Gilled metamorph found on land and photographed underwater.
Larva (in water)
Metamorphs, found on land at the edge of a pond, and photographed underwater. Notice the trace of gills remaining
Habitat, Douglas County, Oregon Breeding pond, Benton County, Oregon Breeding pond,
Pacific County, Washington
Breeding pond,
Thurston County, Washington
The newts at Crater Lake, Klamath County, Oregon, are dark sometimes with dark undersides. Some herpetologists recognize them as a different subspecies:Taricha granulosa mazamae - The Crater Lake Rough-skinned Newt. Habitat, Grays Harbor County, Washington
Habitat, Kitsap County, Washington Breeding pond,
Pacific County, Washington
Breeding pond,
Pacific County, Washington
  Breeding pond,
Pacific County, Washington
Short Videos

Rough-skinned newts move around the rocky shallow margins of a river in Douglas County, Oregon, occasionally coming up for air.

A few light taps on the back of a Rough-skinned Newt causes it to take a passive defensive posture, raising its tail and head to display the bright orange color of its underside which signifies danger. This "unken reflex" shows a would-be predator that the newt is deadly poisonous, while at the same time, the newt releases deadly toxins from its skin. Pairs of Rough-skinned newts in amplexus in the breeding pond.
A male and a female Rough-skinned newt in their underwater amplexus ballet. Male newts in the breeding pond wrestling over and waiting for females. Solo male newts and males and females in amplexus swim underwater in a breeding pond in Pacific County, Washington in mid February.
  Several Rough-skinned newts in Pacific County, Washington, interact with an underwater egg mass that could be from A. gracile - Northwestern Salamander, or possibly a Long-toed Salamander. Some of the newts appear to be trying to bite the eggs as if to eat them, while others seem to just thrash around without taking any bites.  
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