Animals / Amphibians

The Japanese Fire Belly Newt

Синонимы и названия на других языках

Der Japanische Feuerbauchmolch (German)

Le triton à ventre de feu (French)

El tritón de vientre de fuego japonés (Spanish)


Order: caudata

Family: salamandridae

Subfamily: pleurodelinae

Genus: cynops

Species: cynops pyrrhogaster 


These newts are endemic to the Japanese isles. They prefer ponds and lakes with cool clear water. 

Внешний вид

An adult newt grows to 10-12 cm (head-to-tail length). On average, females are about 2 cm longer than males. Males have shorted tails than females.

The back is dark gray or brown, and the belly is very bright: red-orange with dark spots (hence the name). Some newts can change the back color: it becomes grayish white or reddish. The belly doesn’t change the color. Parotoid glands are well developed.

The skin is smooth, but if a specimen spends a lot of time on the land, it gets rougher. 


Japanese fire-bellied newts have calm and gentle disposition, they quickly get used to people.

They are hardy and easy to care for, therefore they are suitable for beginners.

Содержание и уход

Japanese fire-bellied newts need a horizontal aquatic tank about 25-30 liters for 1-2 specimens. The tank has to have a secure cover. If the room temperature is below 20°С, you will need to install a heater.

Newts can be kept in groups. 


In captivity Japanese fire-bellied newts are fed with bloodworms, sludge worms, mosquito larvae, glass worms, crickets, cockroaches, pieces of lean fish and meat. Many of them eat commercial newt pellets.


These newts are poisonous in the wild, but animals bred in captivity may lose their toxicity. The skin of the wild animals contains tetrodoxin. It is a neurotoxin with no known antidote, and can cause death by suffocation in as quickly as six hours after ingestion. The toxin could be formed by environmental bacteria, so could be the reason why some newts in captivity have a lower toxicity than their wild counterparts.


Japanese fire-bellied newts are hardy animals that rarely get ill. Under proper care average life span is around 10 years.


Before mating season males develop smoother skin, a thin tail filament at the tip of the tail, and patches of bluish or purplish sheen along the tail and body. Courting males actively pursue females and compete for their attention by ramming them, blocking their path, and fanning their tail in the direction of the female. A female can lay up to 200 eggs in a breeding season. When possible, eggs are folded between the leaves of aquatic plants. The eggs hatch approximately 20 days after being laid (depending on temperature) and the larvae usually metamorphose about 3-5 months after.

Hibernation does not appear to be essential to breeding and many keepers report these newts breeding even when kept at household temperatures year-round. However, reducing the temperature in the tank by about 3-4 degrees during the winter undoubtedly promotes breeding activity and is recommended.

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