Eastern Newt (Red Eft) - Notophthalmus viridescens
I was trying to tell this salamander that it had a piece of dry skin stuck to its head, but it wasn't in the mood to make friends and took off pretty quickly. Uncharacteristic behavior, in my experience, for these curious cuties.
Red efts have bright orange 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. Efts eat small insects, snails, and other small arthropods. During winter, they hibernate under logs or rocks.
Habitat: Spotted in a deciduous forest
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.