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Spanish Ribbed Newt

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Is this newts / salamander right for you?

Other common names: Iberian Ribbed Newt; Sharp Ribbed Newt; Sharp-ribbed Salamander; Gallipato

Scientific name: Pleurodeles waltl

The basics:
The Spanish Ribbed Newt, the world’s largest, has long been a favorite of European hobbyists and is now becoming quite popular elsewhere. Bold, active, and very responsive to its owner, this interesting creature is long-lived and sometimes willing to breed in captivity.

The Spanish Ribbed Newt is limited in range to Spain, Portugal and Morocco, where it inhabits deep pools, waterholes, and ponds.

Appearance / health:
The back may be gray, brown, or greenish in color, and bears small warts as well as two rows of larger, yellow warts. In a most unique defense strategy, threatened individuals push their ribs, which become coated with toxins, through the skin at these wart sites. Adults reach 31 cm (12.4 in) in length.

Captive longevities of 20+ years have been recorded. Bacterial and fungal infections brought on by poor water quality are the most commonly-encountered health problems.

Behavior / temperament:
Spanish Ribbed Newts are active and almost always on the prowl for food, and will approach the surface for a meal when their owner is sighted.  

Newt skin secretions may cause irritations when transferred to wounds, eyes, or the mouth. They should be handled only when necessary, and then by being urged into a water-filled container or with wet hands so that the skin’s protective mucus is not removed.

Two adults  may be kept in a well-filtered  20 gallon aquarium half-filled with chlorine/chloramine-free water and supplied with floating plants and cork bark as resting spots. Gravel, if used, should be of a size that cannot be swallowed, but bare-bottomed tanks are preferable.

Spanish Ribbed Newts do best at 62-74 F, and will remain active at lower temperatures. They become stressed by sustained warm temperatures.

The Spanish Ribbed Newt’s appetite is easy to please. Commercial newt diets, frozen insect-based fish food, live blackworms, earthworms, crickets, and guppies will all be eagerly accepted; variety is key to their long-term health.

Breeding males may be distinguished by their reddish tint, broad tails, and thickened rear legs. A cooling-off period of 4-6 weeks at 40-45 F may spark breeding activity. Females produce 150-3000+ eggs, which they attach to submerged plants. The larvae may be raised on live blackworms, chopped earthworms, and frozen bloodworms. Metamorphosis is attained in 90-120 days at 65-68 F.

Written by Frank Indiviglio


docile creature, Great pets, easy pet, Low maintenance


messy eaters, good water conditions


orange wartlike structures

Member photos

adopt a rightpet

from shelters/rescues

(We've had no luck finding any of these frisky fellas so far, even though we've put up wanted posters and everything! But don't worry, we're working on it!)

Member suggested products

Tetra 26313 Whisper EX 70 Filter, 45-70-Gallon

Here are products that members feel are just right for your Spanish Ribbed Newt !

Tetra 26313 Whisper EX 70 Filter, 45-70-Gallon

Designed for Use on Aquariums Up to 70-GallonUses two Large Carbon Filters Uses Large Whisper Bio-Bag Cartridges Ready to use right out of the box Timestrip technology included


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