This study investigates differences in mating success in male crested newts, Triturus cristatus. In experiments, mating success varies considerably between individual males. Male size affects mating success, but the maximal height of the male's crest is more important. Male size and crest height are correlated, but in partial correlation analysis only crest height is significantly correlated with mating success. Motivation is also an important factor in determining male mating success as males that had been isolated for a week were more successful than freshly caught males. Newts might be limited in their ability to produce spermatophores, and isolation gives the male time to produce more spermatophores. It is likely that motivational state is less important in a natural population than size and crest height, because wild males are often interrupted during courtship before spermatophore deposition and hence are highly motivated to mate.