Palmate newt (Lissotriton helveticus) Formerly (Triturus Helveticus) Controlled Environment. Identifying marks on feet. Lancashire, UK Palmate newt (Lissotriton helveticus) Formerly (Triturus Helveticus) Controlled Environment. Identifying marks on feet. The cream spots on the hind and front feet are another way to tell Palmate newts from Smooth Newts and other Newts. This is a good way to tell when out of the breading season as these cream coloured spots remain all year round. Newts breath air so need to come up for a breath, however they do start life as larva with a set of gills. Newts are more fragile than one might think, and they seem to need to take a run up when surfacing to breath so as to break the tension of the water surface. This might be also part of a strategy in retuning quickly beneath the surface to avoid predation. 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.