Like other genus Taricha members, the glands in the skin of Taricha sierrae secrete the potent neurotoxin tetrodotoxin, which is hundreds of times more toxic than cyanide. This is the same toxin found in pufferfish and harlequin frogs. Researchers believe bacteria synthesize tetrodotoxin, and the animals that employ the neurotoxin acquire it through consumption of these bacteria. This neurotoxin is strong enough to kill most vertebrates, including humans. However, it is dangerous only if ingested.Due to their toxicity, Sierra newts have few natural predators. Garter snakes are the most common, and some species have developed a genetic resistance to tetrodotoxin. The mutations in the snake’s genes that conferred resistance to the toxin have resulted in a selective pressure that favors newts that produce more potent levels of toxin. Increases in newt toxicity then apply a selective pressure favoring snakes with mutations conferring even greater resistance. This evolutionary arms race has resulted in the newts producing levels of toxin far in excess of what is needed to kill any other conceivable predator - WikipediaVia Posthip Scott. Previous newt.