Photograph of a newt swimming up under a waterlily leaf

Pondwatch Episode 4: Dancing Newts

Roz Wade, Learning Officer at the Museum, writes:

A couple of weeks ago I found that we had newts living in the garden pond. I have seen that we have at least five if not six living in there, and they have been showing some fascinating behaviour this week. We have some males in their breeding garb, with a wonderful crest along the back. They have been performing an energetic courtship dance, so often that I have been able to catch it on film.

The newts are dancing in this episode

Our collections manager Matt Lowe has also been watching his pond and doing some pond dipping. Watch for videos of water lice, mayfly larvae, tadpoles and to see the frenetic swimming stroke of a damselfly larva.

Want to see more of the newts and how best to see them? Check out Pondwatch Episode 3 where you can see my first glimpse of these wonderful amphibians this year. You can also found out about pond dipping in Pondwatch Episode 2, and find out about ramshorn snails and tadpoles in Pondwatch Episode 1.

Want to find out more about newts and other amphibians? The Froglife website is full of information and top tips for seeing and protecting these wonderful creatures, and there are handy ID guides on the Woodland Trust website and Amphibian and Reptile Conservation website.

What have you seen in your garden or from your window this week? Have you spotted any amphibians or had a go at pond dipping? We would love to hear about your sightings and see you wildlife from your window pictures. Either send them to us on twitter (@ZoologyMuseum), comment below, or email us at umzc@zoo.cam.ac.uk.

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