Bearing in mind that Linnaeus, in his use of the name Amphibia, was not alluding to the gill-breathing and air-breathing periods through which most frogs and newts pass in the course of their existence, but only wished to convey the fact that many of the constituents of the group resort to both land and water (e.g.
The green and blue, so frequent in frogs and newts, are merely subjective colours, due to interference.
The first category embraces many aquatic newts, the second nearly all the Ecaudata, the third the rest of the Caudata, and the fourth the Apoda.
In the typical newts (Molge) of Europe, the males are adorned during the breeding season with bright colours and crests or other ornamental dermal appendages, and, resorting to the water, they engage in a lengthy courtship accompanied by lively evolutions around the females, near which they deposit their spermatozoa in bundles on a gelatinous mass, the spermatophore, probably secreted by the cloacal gland.
Other newts, and many salamanders, whether terrestrial or aquatic, pair, the male embracing the female about the fore limbs or in the pelvic region, and the males of such forms are invariably devoid of ornamental secondary sexual characters; but in spite of this amplexation the same mode of fecundation by means of a spermatophore is resorted to, although it may happen that the contents of the spermatophore are absorbed direct from the cloaca of the male.