Chinese fire-bellied newt (Genus: Cynops Species: Orientalis )

Common Names: Chinese fire-bellied newt, dwarf fire-bellied newt, oriental fire-bellied newt, China-Imori (Japanese name).

General Description: Color of back is black, and color of belly is spotted orange. The skin texture is smooth, and they have generally flattened bodies. At maturity they will be approximately 4 inches. Life span can exceed 15 years.

Natural Habitat: The Chinese fire-bellied newts originate from eastern central China. They originate from cool, still waters with large areas of vegetation.

Tank Environment: The tank should range from 60-72° F. They may be kept at temperatures around 40° F before breeding. However, this is not recommended for the constant temperature. Large pieces of gravel should be used to line the bottom of the tank in order to keep the ! newts from digesting them. Sand, and plants are also recommended for the general comfort of the newt. Although newts are primarily aquatic they should be given the option of surfacing to land, in this case a lily pad, or general land mass would be sufficient. The tank should be cleaned every two to three weeks.

Feeding: The newts should be fed live food. This will help maintain health. Some good examples of food are bloodworms, small mealworms, earthworms that are cut into tiny pieces, or small shrimp. For larger newts crickets, and small guppies may also be acquired. The newt should be fed two or three times a week, overfeeding will produce excess waste in the tank. This excess waste builds up to become toxins in the water.



Determination of Sex: This is a very difficult task. The female is more cylindrical, while the male is more oval. The male also has a short filament at the end of his tail. In some species the male also has a change in coloration at the end of his tail.

Mating generally occurs in the spring. The male will deposit the spermatophore, which is a small pyramid containing sperm, on the bottom of the tank. He will then wrap his tail around the female, and rub her against the spermatophore to fertilize the pile. The female will deposit them on leaves where they will continue to grow. If the newts are reproducing in a tank the larvae must be separated from the adults, otherwise they will be eaten.


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