The red spotted Newt, Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens, is the end result of a three stage amphibious life. First is the aquatic stage when the larvae hatch they have gills and just a hint of two hind legs and they live this way till the legs appear and gills disappear in two to three months. The skin feels warty like pebbles and the Red Eft walks onto land to the second stage. The red eft stays this way for one or three years
The color is a signal that says "I taste bad" so the eft is left alone to walk around a wet forest floor eating and hanging out with the other efts in the neighborhood. After a rainy night they are all over and you have to tip toe slowly down the path watching for those little devils. Red efts like to avoid exposure to sunlight.
After the eft stage, the newt is brown with red spots, it moves back to the water and its tail develops further and flattens and becomes more like a rudder.
Newts breed in the spring and the males grow these black honey structures on their thighs and toes and then their is a vigorous courtship dance of swimming and clasping. (make children avert their eyes if you see this happening near you).
She then leaves a few hundred eggs stuck to the leaves of submerged plants and incubation lasts for up to two months.
They eat small invertebrates when in larvae stage, red efts eat insects, snails and I have seen them eating mushrooms. When an adult newt they eat worms, other young amphibians, fish eggs, small crustaceans and small mollusks.
Adult newt have been seen walking at the bottom of ice covered streams during the winter months.