Red-spotted Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens) This amphibian is greenish yellow in its larval stage. It has two grayish lines, located just off center on either side of the back. The lines run the length of the body. At hatching, the larva has gills and just a hint of forelegs. Two to three months into the larval stage, the forelegs and hindlegs have been developed, the gills are lost and the skin becomes granular and textured to the touch. At this point, metamorphosis takes place. The land-dwelling red eft stage is entered and the body becomes a brilliant red to orange-red. A row of black-bordered, round red spots appears on either side of the back; the belly is yellow during this sub-adult stage.
At the end of the eft stage and within a week of entering the water to live out its life as an adult, the skin becomes smooth, and the tail fin develops, becoming compressed vertically to look rudderlike. Its color now is drab-olive to yellowish brown or dark brown. The belly remains yellow and is sprinkled with many small black spots. A row of red spots, bordered with black, also covers the newt’s back on each side. In neither the eft nor newt stages are the costal grooves distinguishable.