The Iberian Ribbed Newt
The Spanish ribbed newt, sharp-ribbed newt
Der Spanische Rippenmolch (German)
Le pleurodèle de Waltl (French)
El gallipato (Spanish)
Species: pleurodeles waltl
This species is endemic to the central and southern parts of Iberian peninsula (hence the name). It can be found in Spain, Portugal and northern Morocco.
Adult Iberian ribbed newts can reach 20-23 cm in length. Tail measures further 7-10 cm.
The tail is flattened and rounded at the end. Females have shorter tails than males. Newts’ skin is dark brown with blurry spots, rough to the touch. On both sides newts have lines of yellow or red spots: that’s where they push out their ribs for protection. The belly is grayish with small dark spots.
Iberian ribbed newts spend time both in water and on the ground, but it is a known fact that they can stay in water without leaving it for several years. Newts prefer quite and deep water bodies with cool water. It is a diurnal species.
Iberian ribbed newts need a horizontal tank from 40 liters in size for 1-2 specimens. It has to be covered – these newts are true escape artists. The water temperature has to be between 20 and 24 degrees, so you might want to get a heater. There should be a small land mass for the newts to rest on. Newts can be kept in groups. You can have live plants in the tank.
In captivity Iberian ribbed newts are fed with bloodworm, sludgeworm, earthworm, crickets, cockroaches, pinky mice, small pieces of lean meat and fish.
This is a hardy species that rarely get ill. Under proper care they can live up to 20 years.
Iberian ribbed newts reproduce quite regularly in captivity, and provide an excellent introduction to amphibian breeding. Breeding sometimes occurs spontaneously but results will be improved if you manipulate water temperatures and day length somewhat. Unlike many amphibians, ribbed newts may even breed following a 1-day change in water temperature.
Under normal conditions, the females will become swollen with eggs and the males will develop crests and nuptial pads. This is how you know its time to drain most of the tank’s water and allow the courtship ritual to begin. Within one week of successful mating, the female will begin to deposit her eggs, which are usually attached to an aquatic plant. Larvae will hatch in about seven to ten days.