Body rough; with scattered pores; a distinct lateral line of pores: dorsal and caudal crests (in the male) separate; the former deeply serrated.
T. palustris, Flem. Brit. An p. 157. Lacerta palustris, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. i. p. 370. Shepp. in Linn. Trans, vol. vii. p. 52. Turt. Brit. Faun. p. 79. Salamandra aquatica, Bay, Syn. Quad. p. 273. S. cristata, Latr. Hist. Nat. des Sal. de France, pp. 29, & 43. pl. 3. f. 3. a. Warty Lizard, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. hi. p. 23. pl. 3. Warted Newt, Shaw, Nat. Misc. vol. viii. pl. 279. Great Water-Newt, Id. Gen. Zool. vol. iii. p. 296. pl. 82. Salamandre cretee, Cuv. Reg. An. torn. ii. p. 116.
Entire length from five to six inches, rarely more.
(Form). Head depressed: snout obtuse and rounded: gape extending a little beyond the eyes: teeth minute, sharp, slightly hooked, forming a single row in each jaw, and two parallel rows on the palate: a collar beneath the neck formed by a loose fold of the skin: fore feet extending a little beyond the snout; each with four flattened toes; third toe longest; second a little longer than the fourth; this last a little longer than the first: hind feet, placed against the sides of the abdomen, reaching to the carpus of the fore; with five toes, more developed than those in front; third and fourth toes equal, and longest; second longer than the fifth; first shortest: tail about two-fifths of the entire length; very much compressed, with its upper and under edges sharply keeled; of a lanceolate form, gradually tapering to an obtuse point: skin warty, uniformly covered with scattered pores; parotids porous; also a row of distinct pores on each side of the body, forming a line between the fore and hind legs. Obs. In the male the abdomen is rather shorter, compared with the entire length, than in the female; the hind feet are somewhat larger and stronger; the back, during the spring, is ornamented with an elevated membranous crest, commencing between the eyes, and running longitudinally down the mesial line to near the tail; this last is also furnished with a similar but separate membrane along its upper and under ridges, causing it to appear at the base as broad as the body; both membranes, but the dorsal more especially, are deeply jagged, and serrated. In the female, there is only a slight dorsal ridge occupying the place of the membrane in the other sex. (Colours). Upper parts blackish brown, with round spots of a somewhat darker tint: breast and abdomen bright orange, or orange-yellow, with conspicuous round black spots, sometimes confluent, and forming interrupted transverse fasciae: sides dotted with white: frequently a silvery white band along the sides of the tail: membranes dusky, tinged with violet.
Not uncommon in ditches, ponds, and other stagnant waters, during the spring months. Late in Summer, is sometimes met with on land, in damp shady situations: this, however, is probably in consequence of the drying up of the waters in its accustomed haunts. Ova deposited on aquatic plants.