Eastern Newt (Red Eft) - Notophthalmus viridescens
I'm so disappointed that this photo is blurry, but I'm sharing it anyway because this is the REDDEST red eft that I've ever seen! They are usually orange despite their moniker. The color in this photo is true to life! Too bad that I was being bombarded by biting flies while enduring the insane humidity when I was taking this photo because the newt stayed perfectly still during the shot and it could have been so sharp! Oh well :/
Red efts have bright orange (usually) aposematic coloring, with darker, reddish spots outlined in black. This stage can last up to 4 years on land, during which time efts may travel far, which ensures outcrossing in the population.
I spotted this one on the edge of a swamp in a mixed forest. It was tiny (just over 3 cm long).
The eastern newt or red-spotted newt is a common salamander of eastern North America. Eastern newts dwell in wet forests with small lakes or ponds. They can coexist in an aquatic environment with small, non-carnivorous fish, however, their skin secretes a poisonous substance when the newt is threatened or injured. They have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years in the wild, and may grow to 5 inches in length.