Newt
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Source: Kongelige Bibliotek (Bestiarius - Bestiary of Anne Walsh (Gl. kgl. S. 1633 4)) Copyright 2003 Kongelige Bibliotek / Used by permission Manuscript description Kongelige Bibliotek, Gl. kgl. S. 1633 4, Folio 56v


 

Newt

Latin name: Stellio

Other names: Stellione

A lizard with spots like stars on its back

 

 
General Attributes

The newt gets its name (stellio) from the shining spots like stars (stella) on its back. It is said to be the enemy of scorpions, and the sight of it paralyses them with fear.


Sources (chronological order)

Ovid [1st century CE] (The Metamorphoses, 5, 461): Its name fits its colour; it is starred on the body with spots of various colours.

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 4:38): The newt (stellio) takes its name from its color, because its back is painted with shining spots like stars. It is the enemy of scorpions and it appearance causes them fear and numbness.


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