Eft, a name given to several species of newts, especially to the common smooth newt (lissotriton punctatus, Daud.). The generic characters of the tritons, or aquatic salamanders, will be given under Newt, which the eft resembles in the slightly free tongue, double longitudinal series of palatal teeth, and nailless toes, four before and live behind. The skin is smooth, and the dorsal and caudal crests are continuous; there are two patches of glandular pores on the head, and none on the back or sides. The newts belong to the genus molge of Merrem, and triton of Laurenti. Bell separated the efts in the genus lissotriton. The color in the male is brownish gray above, passing into yellowish beneath, which in the spring becomes bright orange; there are numerous round dark spots of unequal size, and two longitudinal streaks on the head; the crest in spring is often tipped with red or violet. The female is light yellowish brown, or buff with brown dots, plainer below. The total length is about 3 1/2 in., of which the tail is nearly one half. It is very common in the ditches and ponds of Europe, especially where the water is clear; its food consists principally of aquatic insects, larvae, worms, and mollusks. The reproduction and metamorphosis are almost identical with those of the newts.
Though usually spending most of their time in the water, the young in June, and the adults in summer and autumn, become terrestrial; they appear to attain their full size the first year. The experiments of Spallanzani show that the members of the tail may be reproduced several times in succession, with bones, muscles, vessels, and nerves. Like the other amphibia, it is very tenacious of life, and can resist even congelation. Its bite is perfectly harmless.
Eft (Lissotriton punctatus).