ID needed of juvenile salamanders found wild in the UK

FlAsHFlOoD

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Hi

A small pond in southern england was reported to contain axolotls. As far as I am aware there are no native UK salamander species so this was somewhat of a surprise!

Several specimens were found. They all had gills behind the head, but the colours and patterns did not look like axolotls so i assume they are juveniles from another species of salamander. Does anyone recognise what these are?

Thanks!

pictures:

https://imgur.com/a/vHm5t
 

FlAsHFlOoD

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Thanks for the reply.

We don't have salamanders. Our largest newts are called great crested newts. I have been looking at photos of GCN juveniles since posting this, and I think that is all they are. Well, GCNs are a protected species, so it is good to find them, but it is most likely that this is what they are, rather than some exotic introduced species.

example GCN picture:

https://goo.gl/images/hNoVPm

The belly does it for me, and the spots are similar.

False alarm (i think)!
 

JM29

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Hi !

The third pic looks like an advanced crested newt larva.
This species exists in UK
 

juraj

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1,2 palmate or smooth, 3,4,5 crested.
j.
 

Chinadog

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As others have said, the large ones are Triturus cristatus, I thought I'd better mention that while all our native newts are protected to some degree, Smooth and Palmate newts can be collected, handled, studied etc as long as they're not sold for profit. Crested newts however, are given the very highest level of protection making it illegal to interfere with them or their environment in any way whatsoever without permission from Natural England.
 

FlAsHFlOoD

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Thanks for all your help. They are a nice find, though not by me! They were reported as axolotls by a member of the public. I'm a river ecologist.

cheers
 

Chinadog

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I wouldn't be surprised to see Axolotls turn up in a pond somewhere in the UK. I bet there's been a fair few turned loose over the years and they can survive our winters quite easily.
 
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