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Fire-Bellied Newts Care Sheet


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Fire-Bellied Newts Care Sheet

Japanese Fire-Bellied Newt: Cynops pyrrhogaster

Chinese Fire-Bellied Newt: Cynops Orientalis


Fire bellied newts are usually dark brown to black with red or orange undersides, hence the name Fire-Bellied. The Japanese Fire-Bellied Newt is larger than the Chinese Fire-Bellied Newt and they tend to have red speckled bellies. They have rough skin and grow to about 9-12 CM

Chinese Fire-bellied Newts have smooth skin and a speckled orange or yellow underside and grow to 6-10 CM.

Fire-Bellied Newts can live up to 30 years with good care, but average at about 10-15 years generally.


Fire-Bellied Newts live in slow moving streams and rivers and can also be found in ponds, lakes and ditches. They are largely aquatic, so spend the majority of their time in cool, still waters.

Captive Care

Housing: An Aquarium or glass terrarium will be needed to house your Fire-Bellied Newts and as they are good escape artists care should be taken to ensure your tank has a tight fitting lid.

Fire-Bellied Newts are semi-aquatic and need a 70/30 split within their tank, with 30% being land based, while the other being a water area. Alternatively, you could have a fully aquatic set-up, with floating islands of cork bark or large rocks protruding out of the water to give your newts a place to rest and bask.

Substrate: A rocky slope may be all that is necessary for the land area of your terrarium, but if you would like to divide your tank with a glass panel, then you can fill the land side with a burrowing substrate like sandy top soil or potting mix (without fertilisers), orchid bark chips, sphagnum moss or peat, logs, live mosses and a selection of bog plants can be added to create a natural environment.

Gravel is a good under water substrate for the water side of your tank, which can also be decorated with aquatic plants.

Most of the terrarium should be dedicated to providing adequate water for your Newts with the water at a depth of approximately 25cm and a small sponge filter or airstone is adequate to stop the water becoming stagnant.

As Newts are sensitive to various chemicals and cannot handle water with Chlorine and chloramines in it as like most amphibians they can absorb them through their skin.

It is necessary to ensure the Humidity is kept up with regular misting with de-chlorinated water from a spray bottle but Care should be taken to ensure that this soil area does not become water logged.

The ideal temperature for your Fire-Bellied Newt is a temperature of around 17-21°C Never use heat lamps or basking lamps for amphibians, as these can cause them to dehydrate.

The terrarium should be kept out of direct sunlight, but with a 12 hours light to 12 hours dark cycle. Natural sunlight should suffice during the summer months, but a bulb may be required to keep this cycle during the winter. Newts do not need additional UV, so a normal energy saving light bulb should be fine at 6500k minimum, although you may find that any live plants in your terrarium may need A fluorescent UVB tube as it won’t give out any heat and will help the plants thrive.


Fire-Bellied Newts should be fed 2-3 times a week with a varied diet of appropriately sized prey items, such as Bloodworm, Earthworms, Maggots, White worms etc are suitable prey items for adults for a Fire-Bellied Newt whereas young can be fed wingless fruit flies or white worms. Pre morphed larvae are entirely aquatic and do well on mosquito wrigglers, Daphnia and Artemia nauplii (brine shrimp)


Fire-Bellied Newts have delicate skin and like most amphibians can absorb chemicals that may be on your hands, such as washing up liquid, soap residue, hand cream etc. so handling is not recommended, but if it is necessary wear gloves. This will protect both you and your newts as they can secrete a toxin from the poison glands on the side of their heads that can be an irritant to your skin.

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  • 8 months later...

I find an exo terra 450x450x60 high ideal for adults and the height allows for a bulb for light to grow plants. The true Cardamine lyrata (often sold as hydrocotyle leucacephala).grows well and is ideal for breeding as they lay their eggs on the leaves and fold them over---just remove the folded leaves and you have the eggs. miniature figs grow well too. I use a 24 watt cool daylight energy saver bulb and they don't give off too much heat but good light. Use a Chinese hat shade with the bulb.

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