Many organisms faced with seasonally fluctuating abiotic and biotic conditions respond by altering their phenotype to account for the demands of environmental changes. Here we discovered that newts, which switch seasonally between an aquatic and terrestrial lifestyle, grow a complex adhesive system on their tongue pad consisting of slender lingual papillae and mucus-producing cells to increase the efficiency of prey capture as they move from water onto land. The adhesive system is reduced again as newts switch back to their aquatic stage, where they use suction to capture prey. As suction performance is also enhanced seasonally by reshaping of the mouth due to the growth of labial lobes, our results show that newts are exceptional in exhibiting phenotypic flexibility in two alternating components (i.e. tongue pad and labial lobes) within a single functional system, and suggest that this form of phenotypic flexibility demands complex genetic regulation.