Found a Notophthalmus viridescens, which you can call an Eastern Newt, cuz it lives on the east side of North America, or a Red-Spotted Newt, cuz it’s got spots. This newt is presently an eft.
Newts are salamanders with an extra life stage. Your standard salamander starts as an egg, hatches into a frilly gilled larva, exchanges the gills for legs and goes terrestrial as an adult. The newts add an in-between stage, where they are terrestrial but do not breed. Sort of like the post-graduation backpacking through Europe thing. When fully mature, they will move back into the water, keeping the legs but developing a more paddle like tail, where they will breed and spend the majority of their lives. To distinguish the stages, the tadpole like guy is a larva, the terrestrial, semi-adult juvenile is called an eft and the fully breeding aquatic adult is called an adult. Got that? Egg, larva, eft, adult.
Other things to know about newts:
They eat small bugs.
Newt skin is slightly damp.
They have lungs, which turns out to be sort of an option for salamanders.
Newt skin is toxic, so don’t lick newts.
They get up to about 4 inches/12 cm long.
They can regrow legs if you cut them off, but that’s no excuse.
There is a newt that got to be 25 years old.
2 to 3 of those years are spent as an eft.
Efts are the part with the red spots. The mature adults have splotches, so Eastern Newt makes a bit more sense. Honest, they spend most of their life without red spots. Also that looks more like orange.
Eft gets you 6 points in Scrabble, so you need to use it with some hefty point multipliers for it to be really useful. Helpful during end game though.
“Notophthalmus viridescens.” Encyclopedia of life, available from http://www.eol.org/pages/1025186/overview. Accessed October 8, 2015.
“Red-Spotted Newt”. Herps of North Carolina, available from http://bio.davidson.edu/herpcons/herps_of_NC/salamanders/Notvir/Not_vir.html. Accessed October 8, 2015.