Animals / Amphibians

The Northern Crested Newt

Синонимы и названия на других языках

The great crested newt, warty newt

Der Nördliche Kammmolch (German)

Le Triton crêté, Triton à crête (French)

El tritón crestado (Spanish)

Классификация

Order: caudata

Family: salamandridae

Genus: triturus

Species: triturus cristatus 

Ареал

Northern crested newts are native to Europe: they occur from the UK and France in the west ti the Urals in the east and from the Alps, Romania and Moldova in the south to the central Scandinavia in the north. 

Внешний вид

Adult newts reach the length of 7 – 8.5 cm. Head-to-tail length is from 14 to 20 cm.

The species got its name due to the high jagged crest that runs along their spine and tail – it appears in males during the mating season. The crest can get as high as 1.5 cm.

The upper part of the body and the flanks are dark brown with black spots, so they seem almost black. The belly is yellow or orange with large black spots. The pattern is individual in every specimen. The lower part of flanks is covered with small white dots. Females are not as vividly colored as males and they lack the crest. Females have yellow line along the spine and a silver gray one along the tail. The skin is rough on the back and smooth on the belly. 

Характер

Crested newts can make quite sounds: squeaks, creaks and low whistles. They have peaceful and gentle disposition and easily get used to people.

Содержание и уход

Northern crested newts need a horizontal tank at least 40x25x20 cm in size. It has to be equipped with local heating for daytime (a heating cord, a heating pad or a reflector).

The temperature at the basking spot during the day should be around 28 degrees; the ambient temperature has to be about 18-22 degrees at daytime and 16-20 degrees at night.

You can try and create a landscape in the tank that will be similar to the newts’ natural habitat: put some plants, logs and driftwood.

For substrate you should first put on the bottom a 4-5 cm thick layer of gravel or potting soil covered by sphagnum. If you are not planning to have plants in your tank, you can use for substrate coconut husks covered with sphagnum.

You have to put a small water bowl and mist the tank once a day with warm water. The sphagnum has to be damp all the time. For the breeding season you will need a fully equipped covered tank with gravel or sand and various aquatic plants.

The water temperature has to be between 16 and 20 degrees. The tank should be equipped with a filter and an aerator.

You will need to put a piece of bark or wood on the surface where the newts can climb after metamorphosis. The newts can be kept in groups.

Кормление

In captivity Northern crested newts are usually fed with crickets, cockroaches, mealworms, earthworms, mollusks and other invertebrates.

Особенности
Болезни

Northern crested newts rarely ever get ill. In captivity they live up to 25 years. 

Разведение

The newts become sexually mature at the age of 2-3 years old, once they have reached the size of adult specimens (8 cm for males and 9 cm for females). They breed in the water at least 50-70 cm deep. In the wild they breed when the air temperature reaches 14 degrees and the water temperature reaches 7 degrees (from March to June depending on the climate in the habitat).

In order to stimulate breeding in captivity, you will need to decrease the temperature first and then increase it up to 24 degrees and turn on an aerator. When a male has found a female, he produces a spermatophore. The female gets it into her cloacae. 2 weeks later the female lays 150-200 eggs on the plants. After that adult newts have to separated, otherwise they will eat the eggs. Tadpoles hatch after 13-18 days and start eating one day later. Metamorphosis occur 3 months later. The ideal temperature for metamorphosis is 18-20 degrees; constant water aeration is also necessary. 

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