Chinese Fire-Belly Newts Have Had Offspring

Chinese Fire-Belly Newts Have Had Offspring

A baby fire belly newt is just about three weeks old today. Resettling five adult Chinese fire-belly newts (Cynops orientalis) from a terrarium to be restored, specialists revealed eggs attached to the waterweed. The plant with the eggs was immediately removed from adults – the newts being predators can eat away both eggs and larvae.

After a little while, a larva looking like a tiny comma appeared in the water. Now, it feeds daphnias while its parents living nearby – the bloodworms. They will live together when a young grows up so much that becomes “a hard nut to crack” for the adults.

External ramulous gills and big mouth make the young newt look funny – it seems to be smiling. During 2-4 months of metamorphosis the larvae undergo, they develop legs, and air-breathing lungs replace the gills, which are completely absorbed upon leaving the water for the first time.  

 A young of the current year has had appearance like the adult fire-belly newt. Once fully metamorphosed, they leave the water and live a terrestrial life.  

Chinese fire-belly newts are classical amphibians that is ‘the living both in water and on land’ (from Greek amphi- ‘both’ and -bios ‘life’). The name of this small creature comments itself – a fire-belly newt (Cynops orientalis) is famous for its striking red or orange belly with numerous black blotches, with a back ranging in color from dark brown to black.

In the Primorsky Aquarium, the Evolution of the Ocean Life Exhibit houses several species of newts.  Tailed amphibians or salamanders (Caudata) are considered to be the most primitive family of Amphibia; they bear the most similarity to their prehistoric ancestor. 

Remarkable thing doing the newts and other tailed amphibians unique creatures is their ability to regenerate large amounts of tissue well into adulthood including limbs, eyes, spinal cords, hearts, intestines, and upper and lower jaws.   Almost half of the newt’ body length is a tail. Lifespan is about 10 years.

  • Chinese fire belly newt or Chinese Triton Salamander (Cynops orientalis) is a small (6-10 cm), slender-bodied amphibian with lungs and a well-developed tail presented in both larvae and adults, with bright orange aposematic coloration on the ventral side, typically spending its adult life on land and returning to water to breed. The natural habitat is cold and quiet water bodies at various attitude, mountain ponds, and small brooks, flooded fields in mountain valley, and ditches.