- Smooth-skinned newt with a relatively large head.
Finned, vertically compressed tail.
- Olive green dorsum and orange ventral surface, both with large black spots.
Yellow stripes on back and blue-green coloration on sides may be present.
Notophthalamus meridionalis grows to an adult total length of 5-11 cm (2-4.2 in).
In North America, Notophthalamus meridionalis is found in south Texas and adjacent Mexico.
Notophthalamus meridionalis finds shelter among submerged rocks and feeds on insects, mollusks, leeches, and small amphibians. Notophthalamus meridionalis also has toxic secretions from skin glands to deter predators.
Breeding peaks in the spring for Notophthalamus meridionalis, but can occur all year. Females will lay up to 300 eggs and attach them to submerged vegetation in shallow waters.
Notophthalamus meridionalis prefers warm, shallow waters with vegetative cover, such as those in ponds, ditches, and swamps.
The Texas black-spotted newt is considered a threatened species by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and is fully protected by the state.
The only subspecies of Notophthalamus meridionalis found in Texas,N. m. meridionalis, is found along the coast in the southern portion of the state.