Newts and European Salamanders: Salamandridae - Japanese Fire-bellied Newt (cynops Pyrrhogaster): Species Accounts
Animal Life ResourceAmphibiansNewts and European Salamanders: Salamandridae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Smooth Newt (triturus Vulgaris): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, DIET, EUROPEAN SALAMANDERS NEWTS AND PEOPLE
Physical characteristics: Japanese fire-bellied newts reach a length of 5 inches (12 centimeters) from tip of snout to tip of tail. The tail is long and has a large fin that helps the salamanders swim powerfully. The tail of males has a thin string at the tip. Japanese fire-bellied newts have a black back and a bright red, spotted belly that acts as warning. When attacked, these salamanders release poison from their skin, especially from large glands on the head.
Geographic range: Japanese fire-bellied newts live on Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu, Japan.
Habitat: Japanese fire-bellied newts live in ponds and pools, their numbers often becoming quite large.
Diet: Japanese fire-bellied newts eat small invertebrates.
Behavior and reproduction: Except for mating practices, scientists do not know how Japanese fire-bellied newts behave. Mating takes place in water. The males do not grasp the females' bodies but stand in front of the females, sometimes restraining them with one hind foot. In this position a male beats the tip of his tail, producing a current in the water that carries a scented chemical from glands in his swollen cloaca to the female's snout. Fertilization takes place inside the female's body. She lays the eggs in water, and the eggs attach to underwater plants.
Japanese fire-bellied newts and people: Their bright color makes Japanese fire-bellied newts very popular as pets.
Conservation status: Japanese fire-bellied newts are not considered threatened or endangered. ∎
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