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.
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.
The 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.
The other day April bought those skinny red wiggly worms (the kind you can use as bait for catching fish) at the pet store for us. The lady at the store said we would eat them. Boy, did we prove her wrong!
April cut one up into pieces so they would be small enough for the newts to eat. They really wiggle even after being cut up so she thought that would attract our attention and it did.
First Randal 1, the fire-bellied newt, ate one. That was a good sign she thought.
Then she held one out for Limey who immediately jumped at it, bit it and pushed it all into his mouth. Remember, Limey jumps at anything and tries to eat it. He had Randal 1’s head in his mouth just last week.
Randal 1 and Limey going head to head.
April couldn’t get the rest of us to even show any interest in those worms. She tried and tried. It would be so nice and easy if we would eat them because they stay fresh and last longer than the wax worms or the crickets.
After she was gone over Christmas and we were hungrier than usual she tried again and Limey took the bait but the worm had some dirt on it and Limey dropped it and tried to push the dirt out of his mouth with his front feet. It was real cute watching him do it just like some little kid who accidently ate dirt. After that even he ignored those wiggly red things.
So, yesterday, April went back to the pet store and bought us more crickets. When she put in 3-4 this morning we all were hopping after them because we were so hungry.
Where did that cricket go to? Do you see it Randal 1?
April says we can be as fussy as kids when it comes to eating.
Perhaps your fire-bellied toads and newts will eat those worms, but we are way to spoiled to eat them.
Greenie and Brownie turned the blog over to us today.
We are Randall1 and Randall2 the fire-bellied newts that live here. Named after the very famous actor Randall in Monsters, Inc.
This is a great place to live. We have lots of “land” space and lots of “water” space. Also, there are some wonderful places to hide.
The food is great. If we act like we aren’t eating we even get fed wax-worms by hand. Now that is room service! And, there is plenty of other food we love like brine shrimp and crickets.
Mostly we either sit under an overhanging rock or out in the open on a rock where the light from above warms us while we stare out into the water.
We are good friends with Brownie and Greenie the fire-bellied toads that live with us. We often just hang around with them.
There are a lot of fish in our realm which we watch all day. Just staring down into the water. The male and female guppy had babies which are very tiny right now and catch our eye often. The neon tetras don’t come close to the surface of the water but if we concentrate hard we can see them way down there. They are very pretty to watch. Then those pesky striped fish which started out as three and has now dwindled down to one are interesting to watch because they swim so fast.
April complains because we don’t move much. So, the other day we thought we would show her and she actually got footage of Randall2 moving. Not real fast, but moving.
Randall1 is the quiet one and she hardly ever moves when people are watching.
Randall2 will move but seems to think very hard before he even moves his head. He makes every movement precise and deliberate. It reminds April and Tony of the chameleons they saw at the pet store one day. Even when Randall2 blinks his eyes it seems like slow motion.
But, when we get in the water we move like lightening!
April cleaned our tank and we were pretty mad for awhile, but she always makes it look a little different each time and it is nice to have new areas to explore.
But, when she is cleaning the tank she puts us and the newts into tall container. That gets us sooooo mad! We try to jump out but it is too high. Today Brownie tried to crawl out. He slowly climbed straight up the side of the container. Just as he was an inch from the top April told him he had to get down and picked him up and put him back on the bottom of the container.
By the way, if you have fire-bellied newts and/or fire-bellied toads make sure there is a good cover on the tank they are in. Randal1 and Randal2 our newt friends don’t move much, but they can climb right up the side of the tank. Randal1 climbed up the side of the tank today and just stayed stuck there for hours. If the tank didn’t have a cover on it he could have crawled right out. Not a good idea for a newt or a toad since there isn’t enough moisture in the carpet to keep us alive. If we crawled out the next thing we would be is a knickknack for the shelf all dried up and dead!
We put together a family photo album for you to view. Have fun!