eft, larvae (in CC amphib glossary)

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basic definitions here.
 

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Larva, plural Larvae

A name applied to amphibians after hatching from the egg or in their immature stage during their life cycle. During this stage and prior to the reorganization involved in becoming an adult, the animal is motile and capable of feeding itself but usually unable to reproduce. The appearance of the larva is usually markedly different from that of the adult of the same species. The larvae of the three orders of amphibians differ so distinctly that they are easily identifiable. In Urodela or salamanders, the larvae like the adults, are carnivorous; in Anuarans or frogs and toads, the larvae may be herbivorous, omnivorous or carnivorous; in Caecilians, the larvae are carnivorous. Certain species of Urodela retain their larval form but develop the ability to reproduce. The sexually functioning larvae grow large and do not metamorphose into adults, this phenomenon is called neotony.
 

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Eft

The term applied to the juvenile stage of the North American genus Notophthalmus and in particular the Eastern Newt, N. v. viridescens of which may last from one to four years. The juvenile, after metamorphosing from the larval stage assumes a vivid red coloration with black bordered red spots on the dorsal side of the body, develops high toxicity and becomes terrestrial. It is often seen wandering the forrest floor during daylight hours specially after a rain shower. Within the genus there is great variation of its life cycle, some populations have no eft stage; in others, the adults remain in the water and never become terrestrial. The term eft is not a synonym for larva.
 

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should juvenile terrstrial stages of other species be called efts...or juveniles?
 

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Joe, this is a good question. I had also wondered about applying it to other genus but here is my rationale for keeping it only within the Notophthalmus:

1. The term is derived from the Old English word - "efeta" meaning a newt. I do not believe that the word "eft" maintains its current meaning of being a juvenile terrestrial newt outside of the USA (any input from our other English speaking members outside of the USA would help). In the northeast of the USA, it is exclusively applied to the juvenile form of Notophthalmus and to no other newt/salamander that I am aware of. Usually the word "eft" is preceeded by "red" such as a "red eft" Since I was a child, I was taught that the red salamanders with black spots (newts) walking during the day in the forrest were called "red efts" I do not believe that the term has been applied to the terrestrial juveniles of the genus Taricha of the West coast. Has anyone used the word "eft" to refer to an immature Tylototriton, a Triturus or a Cynops?

2. Notophthalmus, as far as I know, has this intermediate stage where the juvenile looks nothing like the sexually mature adult as far as coloration and in its behavior. Even the level of toxicity is greater in the juvenile stage than in the adults.

3. The juvenile efts tend to wander during the day if atmospheric conditions are right while most other juveniles of other genera of salamander are active toward dusk and at night. The orange/red coloration serving as a warning to would be daylight predators that it is highly toxic. In the genus Taricha, the juveniles, while maintaining a dull orange coloration also advertising their toxicity, usually
remain in the same habitat and follow the same behavior as the terrestrial adults .

What do you think?

Louis
 

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So therefore, eft merely is a term to describe a juvenile Eastern newt, and the quirks that come with them.

Many other newts have a terrestrial juvenile stage but I don't think any undergoes as dramatic of a change. But then again, we haven't been paying too much attention as far as the wild behaviors of newt juveniles.
 

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I have to agree that "eft" is regional dialect for the terrestrial form of one (or more) Noto species
 

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Eft: A newt in its terrestrial stage of development (e.g., the reddish-orange terrestrial form of the North American species Notophthalmus viridescens).

Larva: A free-living, sexually immature form of many caudates, invertebrates and fish that at hatching from the egg does not resemble its parents and must metamorphose. Larvae may differ from adult animals in many ways including diet, habitat and morphology.
 
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