Smooth newts spend most of their lives on land; they overwinter under refuges such as logs or stones, and head for water bodies in spring in order to breed (5). Activity tends to peak at dusk and dawn, and most feeding takes place at night. The diet is composed mainly of aquatic invertebrates when in water, and worms, slugs, snails, beetles and flies on land (4).
Reproduction in the smooth newt is preceded by an elaborate courtship in which the male performs a display that involves him vibrating his tail against his body and occasionally slapping it against his side. If successful, the male will transfer a packet of sperm to the female by depositing it on the substrate; the female then absorbs it into her cloaca (5). Females lay up to 300 eggs between March and June at the rate of three to seven a day; each egg is wrapped individually in leaves (5). After 10 to 20 days, the eggs hatch and the tadpole larvae, which are known as 'efts' and have obvious feathery external gills, begin to swim around after a few days (5). These larvae usually undergo metamorphosis between July and September, and return to breed two to three years later (5).