Visitors 26
Modified 21-Mar-16
Created 21-Mar-16
22 photos

Coastal Range newts (Taricha torosa torosa) gather together in the spring to mate at the bottom of San Francisquito Creek. I watched several pairs for a long time, as they moved slowly along the creek bottom, the lighter male clasping firmly to the back of the darker female as she slowly crawled along. I followed one pair for 5 minutes, moving across the rocks in the current and then the female burrowing her head into the soft mud and grass. I saw one unattached male approach a breeding pair and turn away unsatisfied. All in all, I saw at least 3 breeding pairs and one unattached male. Watching for a half hour, I never saw a newt take a breath for sure, though some males lifted their heads near the surface. A few times males and then females emitted bubbles.
There were also two other newts (lighter-colored males?) along Trail 2 above the creek.

I noticed the mating newts underwater after walking across the shallow creek to get a good angle for a photo. I watched them for a half hour, from 9:14 to 9:43 am on a cloudy spring morning, between rains.
Shy Newt with TickSan Francisquito CreekSan Francisquito CreekSan Francisquito CreekGrass in San Francisquito CreekGrass and Leaf in San Francisquito CreekSan Francisquito CreekCoastal Range Newts Mating in San Francisquito CreekCoastal Range Newts Mating in San Francisquito CreekCoastal Range Newts Mating in San Francisquito CreekCoastal Range Newts Mating in San Francisquito CreekCoastal Range Newts Mating in San Francisquito CreekCoastal Range Newts Mating in San Francisquito CreekNewts Mating in San Francisquito CreekNewts Mating in San Francisquito CreekThree is a CrowdThree is a CrowdThree is a CrowdThree is a CrowdNewt on Trail 2