The Hong Kong Warty Newt
Hong Kong newt
Hongkong Warzenmolch (German)
Species: paramesotriton hongkongensis
This is the only species of salamander found in Hong Kong. They are also native to the coastal area of the Chinese province Guangdong. They prefer hill streams and surrounding forests.
Adult newts reach the length of 14-15 cm (head to tail).
Hong Kong newts have rough skin with high spine ridge. The tail is flat. The coloration varies from light brown to dark brown. There are numerous orange spots on the belly. There is a bright stripe on the ventral side of the tail.
Males and females have similar coloration. During the mating season males’ cloacae enlarge.
Hong Kong newts have peaceful and gentle disposition. They can be kept alone or with calm species of fish of the same size. They get along with almost all the species of catfish.
Hong Kong newts are easy to care for. You will need at least a 50 liter tank for 2 specimens.
The main requirement of this species is the water temperature: it has to be between 17 and 22 degrees. The newts will also need a ground area where they can climb and bask.
You can decorate the tank with aquatic plants. It is recommended to use 2% UV lamps during the day (for 10-12 hours every day). They can be used both for light and for heating.
It is best to choose the substrate without sharp edges (sand, gravel, sea stones). Newts don’t need shelters. They prefer to stay in the water, close to the surface.
You will have to equip your tank with a filter and an aerator. You will have to change 30% of the water monthly.
In captivity Hong Kong warty newts eat bloodworms, sludge worms, earthworms, crickets, cockroaches and commercial food.
Under proper care Hong Kong newts don’t get ill and can live up to 100 years.
Hong Kong newts become sexually mature 1-3 years after the metamorphosis, once they have reached the length of an adult specimen.
Breeding takes place in the coldest time of the year, from November to April. You will have to decrease the temperature in the tank gradually in order to stimulate mating. When first faced with a female, the male approaches her slowly and nudges her body lightly with his snout. He springs forward rapidly along beside her, turns in front of her head and immediately stops and performs a lateral display. This display consists of fanning movements of the tail, folded against his body. When the female nudges its tail with the snout, the male creeps forward, the female following. The male stops and deposits a spermatophore. Eggs are laid in February-March. A female may lay about 115 eggs. Larvae hatch after three to four weeks at a length of 10-14 mm, at different stages of development.