Palmate newt Male (Lissotriton helveticus) Formerly (Triturus Helveticus) Controlled Environment. Resting on a rock. Lancashire, UK Palmate newt (Lissotriton helveticus) Formerly (Triturus Helveticus) Controlled Environment. Resting on a rock. Camouflage plays a key role in the survival on the Palmate newt as it does with all Herptilids, that is Amphibians, Reptiles etc. The patterns on the newts skin blend in well with the rock on which it rests. The palmate newt is the smallest British amphibian. Palmate newts are very similar in general habits and behaviour to smooth newts. They are crepuscular, with activity peaking at dusk and dawn. 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.