The Himalayan Newt
The crocodile newt, crocodile salamander, red knobby newt
Der Geknöpfte Birma-Krokodilmolch (German)
Species: tylotriton verrucosus
The Himalayan newt is common is South-East Asia and in western China, mainly in the mountains. They can also be found in Burma, northern India and Thailand. They live in woodland near slowly moving or still water.
Adult Himalayan newts reach the length of about 20 cm.
A Himalayan newt has a wide head and a short snout. The tail is flattened in order to facilitate swimming. The toes are not webbed. The back is black or red-brown with a bright orange stripe that stretches along the spine. The tail, the legs and the head are orange too.
In the wild Himalayan newts are mostly nocturnal; it is a very secretive species. They use toxins emitted through their skin for protection. Their coloration enables the newts to swim in the open water bodies during the daytime, since their pattern reminds of sun rays on the water. Nevertheless, they are often attacked by predators, e.g. dice snakes.
In captivity Himalayan newts are active during the day. An aquatic tank is an ideal option, so that the newt can choose where to be. For substrate you can use sphagnum. These newst need very high level of humidity: about 90%.
The ambient temperature can be between 15 and 25 degrees, depending on what part of the habitat your newt comes from. At night the temperature should be 3-5 degrees lower than at daytime.
Himalayan newts eat various invertebrates: earthworms, tubifex worms, bloodworms and crustaceans such as shrimp. They can also be fed with pieces of fish or lean meat. These newts should be fed every second day in summer and a bit more seldom in winter. It is recommended to dust the food with calcium and vitamins.
These newts hardly ever get ill. Average life span is about 11 years in the wild and up to 20-25 years in captivity.
Himalayan newts become sexually mature at the age of 3-5 years old.
These newts breed in captivity without any extra stimulation. The breeding season starts in the end of March. Females lay eggs from May to September onto aquatic plants. A clutch normally contains 20-60 eggs. In October newts leave the water bodies.