Other common names: Himalayan Knobby Newt, Himalayan Newt, Crocodile Newt, Alligator Newt, Himalayan Salamander, Red Knobby Newt, Burmese Crocodile Newt
Scientific name: Tylototriton verrocosus
The attractively-marked Himalayan Crocodile Newt has much to recommend it as a pet, although it is temperature sensitive and somewhat inactive. While the term “newt” is most often applied to highly-aquatic salamanders, this species spends most of its life on land.
The range extends from northeastern India southeast through Myanmar and Thailand to northern Vietnam and southern China. Himalayan Crocodile Newts inhabit riverside montane forests, rice fields, and wet meadows to an altitude of at least 2,500 meters (8,202 ft) above sea level.
Appearance / health:
The thick, rough-skinned body is dark brown in color, and marked with light brown to reddish-orange along the head, back, legs, body warts, and tail. The head is topped by a bony ridge. Adults reach 23 cm (9.2 in) in length.
Captive longevities of 15+ years are known. Heat stress, and the resulting bacterial and fungal infections, is the most commonly-encountered health concern.
Behavior / temperament:
Himalayan Crocodile Newts are not very active but usually content to remain in view and willing to feed by day once adjusted to captivity.
They should be handled only when necessary, and then with wet hands so that the skin’s protective mucus is not removed. Salamander skin secretions may cause irritations when transferred to wounds, eyes, or the mouth.
A single adult or pair of Himalayan Crocodile Newts can be kept in a 20 gallon aquarium; larger tanks can support small groups.
Moist sphagnum, carpet moss, or terrarium liners make good substrates, and cork bark rolls or plastic caves serve well as retreats. Himalayan Crocodile Newts do best at 58-70 F, and are stressed by sustained temperatures over 73 F. In many locales, they are best housed in cool basements or air-conditioned rooms. A shallow bowl of chlorine/chloramine free water, or a filtered pool, should always be available.
Earthworms are ideal as the bulk of a Himalayan Crocodile Newt’s diet. Roaches, sow bugs, crickets, locusts, butterworms, horn worms, and other invertebrates should also be offered. Mealworms have been implicated in digestive system disorders, and should be avoided. Most meals should be coated with a powdered Calcium/Vitamin D3 supplement. A vitamin/mineral supplement may be used 2-3x weekly.
Mature males may be distinguished from females by their smaller size and the swollen area about the cloaca. A cooling-off period of 4-6 weeks at 45-50 F may spark breeding activity. Females deposit 20-150+ eggs on submerged plants. The larvae may be raised on live blackworms, chopped earthworms, and frozen bloodworms.
Written by Frank Indiviglio
My Very Own Dragon
"Kweichow Crocodile Newt, also known as the Red-Tailed Knobby Newt." I can't tell you how many times I said this phrase in just one day. It was my first time helping my dad out at a reptile convention, and we needed some animals for our display cages. So, naturally, I was sent to scout out something cheap for our last-minute purchase before the show opened to the public. Instead, I came back with a $25 newt that we knew nothing about. But, man, it looked so super cool!
Of course, that wasn't enough. First chance I got, I looked him up on the internet: their toxicity can "kill a human that has a weak body or a baby," according to Wikipedia. The guy selling me the newt had left out that bit. A pretty important bit, as it turned out, because every child that walked up asked first what it was, and then--without fail--if they could hold it.
Even the adults were enthralled. One woman commented that he looked like Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon, and the name stuck. Everyone who passed seemed more interested in Toothless the Newt than anything we were actually selling.
Toothless now resides in a large tank at my home. He looks amazing and eats the fish we let swim around his tank--but only after they've died on their own..
From bluemaple Oct 21 2014 7:58PM