Japanese Fire-Bellied Newt

The Japanese Fire-Bellied Newt is a very unique amphibian. It spends most of its time in water eating small invertebrates.

The Japanese Fire-Bellied Newt is unique in its colors, face, body, and size. Unlike most newts, it has three different types of colors that are red, blue, and dark brown. It is distinguished by it red speckled belly. It face is circular with roundish eyes and a long mouth. With its very skinny and narrow body, the newt can swim very well. This tiny creature is only 3to5 inches long.

The Japanese Fire-Bellied Newt chose its habitat very precisely because it’s warm blooded. So it lives in largely aquatic areas, like Japan’s pools and pond, in Shikoky, Kyushu, and Honshu. The temperature of the ponds has to be between 75F and 40F. If it falls below 40 degrees F the newts will not survive. The temperature in the water is important because it spend most of it time in the water.

This quiet mellow newt can turn vicious and show no mercy by turning into a cannibal. Cannibalism is when one newt eats anther newts. Basically "survival of the fittest." That will only happen when they’re underfed. These creatures will feed on small invertebrates like bloodworm, shrimps and guppies. And if it needs to protect itself they can mimic their natural surrounding.

If you go to Japan try to catch a glimpse of this magnificent little creature on all levels. If you can’t go to Japan you can easily find the Japanese Fire-Bellied Newt at your local pet shop. Watch and see its features and strange behavior.

by Michael

picture from http://www.dartfrog.co.uk/amphibians.html

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