Taricha granulosa
(Rough-skinned Newt)

Key Characteristics:
Adult Characteristics Larval Characteristics Egg Characteristics
Costal grooves absent
No maxillary teeth
Fewer than 8 gill rakers
Attached singularly
Solid dark brown
or tan dorsally
Eyes along margin of head
Yellow to reddish-
orange ventrally
Balancers in early
larval stage

General Description:
The Rough-Skinned Newt is rare in Idaho and was probably introduced.  They have only been found in a few ponds near Moscow, Idaho. Consequently, most of the information about this species comes from populations occurring in Washington and Oregon.  They are easily recognized by their rough granular skin and the absence of costal grooves. Rough-Skinned Newts have a dark brown to tan color dorsally and a yellow to orangish-red color ventrally. Males of this species can attain a size of around 170mm total length while the smaller females average around 140mm total length.

The larvae of Rough-Skinned Newts have the generalized "pond type" body (larger gills and tail fin extending above hind legs). They can be identified by the absence of maxillary teeth and their coloration, which consists of a yellowish-green dorsal color with spots, and a pinkish to salmon ventral color. Finally, the eyes of these larvae don't extend past the margin of the head.

Rough-Skinned Newts lay their pigmented eggs singularly and generally attach them to submerged vegetation or debris. Mating and egg laying take place in ponds, lakes and slow moving streams (this is not known for Idaho).

Idaho Distribution:
Rough-Skinned Newts are rare in Idaho and have only been found in several ponds near Moscow, Idaho. It is believed that they may have been introduced to these ponds.

Distribution was not modeled for this species.

Rough-Skinned Newts are generally found in forested areas, but can also occur in grassy valleys and even agricultural areas. These salamanders are somewhat unique in that they can sometimes be found on the surface in broad daylight. They secrete a very toxic substance from their skin, and it is suggested that this is what affords their non-secretive habits. The larvae are found in ponds, lakes and slow moving streams and adult forms can often be found in these aquatic habitats as well. The adults however, are not restricted to aquatic environments and can be found quite a distance from water. Generally, these terrestrial adults are found under logs, bark, etc. but as was mentioned above they can also be seen out in the open.

No information currently available.

No information currently available.

No information currently available.

Unprotected nongame species
Global Rank:
State Rank:
S? non-native species

Original images provided by Charles R. Peterson and William Leonard, 1997
Species description, key characteristics and original html by John Cossel Jr. 1997.
Species ecological information from Groves et al.© 1997.
Updated design, image optimization and final revision by Ean Harker ©1999, 2000.
Adaptation for DAI by Stephen Burton and Mike Legler 1999.