General EditGreat Crested Newts are large newts, attaining lengths of 5-8 inches, they are black in colour with orange bellies mottled with black, during the breeding season, males develop large, jagged crests down their spine and tail, these give them their common name. They have a diet of aquatic insects, worms, snails and small larval amphibians. They prefer deep water (over 30cm) and bodies of water without predatory fish.
These newts are very delicate when it comes to breeding, they require seasonal pools which dry up, these pools drying up kills off the predators there (dragonfly larvae etc.) this lessend predation on these Newts' offspring. They never breed in ponds containing fish. The larvae are nektonic and swim in the open, hunting anything small enough to fit in their mouthes. They may stay in the pond for over a year until they metamorphosise.