Fun Facts About Fire-Bellied Newts


 07-12-16-randal-2-front-face-shot-showing-underside-resized.jpgFUN FACTS ABOUT FIRE-BELLIED NEWTS:

Fire-bellied newts like cool temperatures of 68 F or 20 C.  But they can tolerate 70 F or 21 C.  They may become sick if you keep your tank at higher temperatures.  I’m going to go lower the temperature for Randal1 and Randal2 right now.  Perhaps that is why they are sluggish and very seldom move. 

Newt close up  Fire-bellied newt have glands on the side of their head that secrete toxins.  This can cause skin irritations and may be poisonous to some animals.  Do NOT handle your fire-bellied newts unless you absolutely have to and after touching them wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

There are two kinds of newts that are referred to as fire-bellied newts commonly kept as pets.  The Cynops orientalis is the Chinese fire-bellied newt (also called the oriental fire-bellied newt or the dwarf fire-bellied newt) and the Cynops purrhogaster is the Japanese fire-bellied newt.

Newts cuddling  Newt bellyThe Chinese fire-bellied newt, Cynops orientalis is approximately 3-4 inches long (6-10 cm), with smooth skin that is dark brown to black over most of their body.  Their fire-belly usually has orange as the predominant color. They have poison glands on the sides of their head.  Randal1 and Randal2 are Chinese fire-bellied newts.

The Japanese fire-bellied newt, Cynops pyrrhogaster, is approximately 3.5 to 5 inches long (9-12 cm) with a rough or bumpy appearance to the skin.  Usually its fire-belly is more of a speckled pattern of red-orange. They have poison glands on the side of their head.

Fire-bellied newts will regulate their intake of food and do not usually become obese even if food is available at all times.


23 Responses

  1. we just got three fire-belly newts abit concerned about the poisonous info, will they hurt my kids if they handle them if i wasnt watching???

    • well wayne ,my friend has some fire bellied newts and as it says on the website you can handle them as long as you wash your hands well with soap… if you tuch them dont tuch your eyes or anywhere until you wash your hands but i guess as long as you teach your kids not to touch them all too often and without your permission your kids should be fine.


    • Wayne, well its good that you got your kids fire bellies as they are quite of an amusement to have.Don’t worry about the poisonous part!.Seriously try to handle the newts as least as possible and after handling them make sure you or your kids wash their hands thoroughly,doing this will prevent any serious results to your skin.Happy newt keeping! 🙂

    • just make sure your kids wash there hands after even touching the things in the tank, let alone the newt. they arent too poisonous and the worst they can leave is a rash or a numbness feeling. but you should always be supervising younger or any kids while theyre near the newt

  2. me and my husband are planning to get a firebellied newt. but i’m having second thoughts after reading about the poisons.. would it be very harmful or very very poisonous if handled? if so.. any ideas on what i should do for safety reasons?

  3. we just got newts in our class at school and they are very cute, i’m abit worried to hold them now that i’ve heard they are poisonis….. will you die if you like get the poison in your mouth?

    • Amanda,thats a good question.You won’t die unless or until you ingest the newt.Theres a high chance you might get critically injured or death.But don’t worry about that,its only if it winds up in your mouth.

    • No, only you may feel itchy or swollen, kind of like an alergic reaction, but try your very best not to, because it depends on your immune sistum.Never try putting it near your face and always wash your hands after touching anything iheir near. Hope this helps!

    • you will not die, but i can tell you it will not taste good lol. DO NOT LET A DOG OR CAT EAT THEM!

      ~ I have 5 FBN and a handle them often… i mean i let them crawl around on my hand after i wash them, they also like my bathtub *plugged of course.* they will not give you any problems if you wash your hands after. i bought mine from a pet store and have never got a rash or any side effect of any sort. i highly recommend not touching your face and to wash your hands after touching them.

  4. i found a small black newt with a red belly under the wooden planks in my garden and out him in the pond arethey rare ?

    • do you live in china or japan? if so they are not that rare. but if u live in this country then there is a very small possibility that you would find one. so the one you found probably just go out of its home.

  5. they only give a tiny bit of poisen that is only harmfull to small animals (unless the newt is eaten whole then it can have effects)
    these animals are very common, they are worth about 5pound each
    this poisen should be kept away from the mouth but shouldnt have a big effect,
    i do recomend washing hands after,
    i hav owned 5 fire belly newts now (all chinese)
    and now i have 1 japanese and 1 chinese in the same place to see how they get on,
    good luck with your newts,
    they are good fun

  6. okay,
    as for the toxins that secrete out of their glands. it’s not very toxic at all.
    if you hold the newts then touch your lips or eyes or nose it will burn but nothing intense.
    and if by chance you eat a newt.
    your body will throw up the newt and the poison consumed.
    there has only been 1 death by newts.
    and it was a species of newt that was a lot more toxic than fire belly newts.
    it was a drunk guy that ate 3-4 of them.

    hope this information is helpful.

  7. I can tell that this is not the first time at all that you write about the topic. Why have you decided to write about it again?

  8. I have a newt and I have never had problems with him because of poison. I have very sensitive skin too, even sunblock gives me a rash! You shouldn’t worry about it. You shouldn’t handle them too often though, it can stress them out and the natural oils on you skin can clog thier pores and make them sick.

  9. hey this is cool

  10. just make sure to wash ur hands after, it wont kill u or anything and if u get some in ur eyes or something, rinse thouroly with water, if any side effects kick in, call a doctor.

  11. Hi webmaster – This is by far the best looking site I’ve seen. It was completely easy to navigate and it was easy to look for the information I needed. Fantastic layout and great content! Every site should have that. Awesome job

  12. Hi i just got a newt it is in my tank in my bed room the water is about 25cm. (is this ok). And i was a bit concered as it kept swimming and staying at the top of my tank as though it HAD to have air at all times but it has now found a place on top of my fillter were it can get air and still be in the water (could anyone give me some info on how they should be kept and if i need anythink popping out the top of the water for it
    (Also is there any tips on how to sex my newt)
    Thank You xx

  13. the toxins will not hurt you . just wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap. have fun !!!!!!

  14. I have a Japanese fire bellied newt and have been handling him for 25 years, as have my kids. Although we always wash our hands afterwards, we have never had a problem with the toxins and he actually seems to enjoy his periodic outings.He has even been into the local schools in order that other children may learn about him and his habitat.A genuinely lovely pet that I would recommend to anyone.

  15. i gave them away because i have a little baby in my house and there poisonous

  16. I just got a fire belly newt and i have to say this information is helpful , i had no idea they possessed mild toxins or that handling them too much could effect thier health , actually the girl who sold the lil fire belly newt to me had me under they opposite impression that it was ok to handle them !!! i had no idea it could effect their health thx!!

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