Palmate newt Larvae (Lissotriton helveticus) Formerly (Triturus Helveticus) Controlled Environment. Swimming. Lancashire, UK Palmate newt (Lissotriton helveticus) Formerly (Triturus Helveticus) Controlled Environment. Swimming. Plan view of the Palmate Larvae which has gills enabling it to breath under water full time. They would die at this stage if taken out of water. The palmate newt is the smallest British amphibian, with the young hiding in the most dense parts of the it's underwater habitat. This secretive newt spends most of the day in thick aquatic vegetation, coming out into open water only after dark Sale or commercial exchange of palmate newts is prohibited in Britain by the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.