Rough-Skinned Newt

Rough-Skinned Newt

October 23, 2015
Heidi Rockney and Karen Wu
Rough-Skinned Newt.

Rough-Skinned Newt.
Photo: Heidi Rockney

Name: Rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa)
Order: Salamanders (Caudata)
Family: Newts (Salamandridae)

What they look like

  • 6-9 cm
  • Can be yellow or tan, but usually dark brown or black
  • Underside is yellow, orange or red
  • Dry, granular skin

Where they live

  • View a map of where they live
  • In Washington state found west of the Cascades
  • Prefer slow moving, quiet water but can be found on land away from water under logs or rocks
  • Found in grassland, woodlands and forests


  • Breeding season is December through July
  • Lays one egg at a time attached to underwater debris
  • Sometimes migrate long distances to breeding ponds
  • The larvae can mature and reproduce in their larval state, although this significantly lowers their life span.  This is referred to as neotony

Cool biology facts

  • Rough-skinned Newt will display bright colored underside when threatened
  • They are Washington state’s most poisonous Newt
  • Toxins can cause mild skin irritation, but can cause severe symptoms if ingested, including paralysis and/or death
  • The iris in their eyes are yellow or silverfish


Distribution map.

Map of Rough-Skinned Newt distribution in Washington state. Learn more on the NatureMapping Foundation website

Explore more of the Amphibians & Reptiles of Washington or check out All About Amphibians.

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