Other common names: Tritón Alpino
Scientific name: Ichthyosaura (formerly Mesotriton) alpestris
The Alpine Newt is a small, attractive species that does well for those able to provide the cool temperatures it requires. A favorite of European hobbyists, male Alpine Newts develop showy crests during the breeding season.
The range covers much of central Europe, from Denmark to Romania and Bulgaria. Alpine Newts dwell in mountainside forests, from lower reaches to the alpine zone.
Appearance / health:
The back may be gray, olive, near-black or brown in color, while the ventral area is bright yellow or orange; dark blotches are sometimes seen. Adults reach 3.2-4.8 inches in length.
Captive longevities of 10+ years have been recorded. Bacterial and fungal infections brought on by exposure to warm temperatures are the most commonly-encountered health problems.
Behavior / temperament:
Alpine Newts adjust well to captivity if provided appropriately-cool temperatures. Aquatic phase adults are easier to maintain than are terrestrial specimens.
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 so that the skin’s protective mucus is not removed.
Two to four adults may be kept in a 10 gallon aquarium; larger tanks will support small groups.
Moist sphagnum or carpet moss makes a good substrate, with cork bark rolls or other bark serving as retreats. Adults in the aquatic phase (captives may move into water even if not in breeding condition) should be kept in a filtered aquarium half-filled with cool, chlorine-free water and supplied with floating plants as resting spots. Gravel, which may be swallowed, should not be used. High humidity (75-85%) as well as ample air circulation is critical to good health.
Alpine Newts do best at 50-62 F, and will remain active at lower temperatures. They are stressed and eventually rendered ill by sustained warm temperatures.
A variety of tiny invertebrates should be provided as food. Sow bugs, small crickets, white worms, fruit flies, blackworms, chopped earthworms and other commercially-available invertebrates are accepted. Aquatic forms readily devour commercial newt chow.
Most meals should be coated with a powdered Calcium/Vitamin D3 supplement. A vitamin/mineral supplement should be used 2-3x weekly.
Males may be distinguished from females by the mid-back crest that develops when they are in breeding condition. A cooling-off period of 4-6 weeks at 36-40 F may spark breeding activity. Females attach flat egg masses containing 5-200 eggs to submerged plants and rocks. The larvae may be raised on live blackworms and frozen bloodworms. Metamorphosis is attained in 2 weeks to 2.5 months, depending upon temperature. In some populations, larvae retain their gills and remain entirely aquatic but become capable of reproduction when mature (this strategy is known as neoteny).
Written by Frank Indiviglio
reddish color, Interesting Little Fellows, great addition, amazing little creatures, great fun
reclusive little animal, large tank, toxic secretion, skin, sludge warms
long lifespan, greedy little things, good filter
"We found two lost Alpine Newts during a walk, and decided to keep them in an aquarium. We kept them for six months, until they looked sufficiently robust, and then we set them free.<br>Alpine Newts should be kept in an aquarium with a land portion of about 1/3 to 1/2 of the aquarium surface. We also added a few floating branches. The aquarium was put outside, under a ledge, so that it was exposed to sunlight but still protected from the wind, the rain and the cold. We fed them mostly worms and maggots (the kind used as fishing bait works marvellously). You should run the aquarium's filter daily.<br>Our newts had very different temperaments/ One was very active and fun to look at, but absolutely refused to be handled. The other was much lazier and more apathetic, but didn't mind being held and stroked for short periods of time.<br>Cleaning and maintaining their aquarium wasn't very time-consuming: we ran the filter once a day and cleaned the aquarium once a week. We fed them two times a day.<br>Alpine Newts aren't the most fascinating creatures, but if you want a pet that demands minimal work and is entertaining to look at - and really pretty, Alpine Newts are often gorgeously coloured, - I'd definitely recommend one (or two, preferably, so they don't get lonely and bored.)."
From frenglutch May 5 2015 5:13AM
"Newts, are amphibians that look similar to lizards in appearance. However, they don't have scales; on the contrary they are smooth and have a moist body. They are very beautiful in my opinion!<br><br>These guys have a variety of bugs they can eat, including-but not limited to: earthworms, crickets, slugs, brine shrimp and black worms. In my experience, my brother's Newt loves brine shrimp. Like many amphibians and reptiles, it is recommended that you add vitamins to their diet to ensure they get the correct dosage of vitamins needed. <br><br>My brother has had his Newt for about 16 years, and they typically live for about 15-20 years-so he's doing good!<br><br>My brothers tank setup has an aquatic area and a land area. The land area is separated from the water with a piece of plexiglass placed across the aquarium and sealed with aquarium grade silicone sealant. I believe this is an ideal setup because it provides the best of both worlds, and allows your Newt to decide what are he wants to be in based on his needs. A log connects the two areas for the Newt to go back and forth. With that said, make sure the top of the tank does have a cover so your Newt doesn't get out! Also, be sure your tank has a filtering system.<br><br>While Alpine Newts are cold-blooded they do not require a heat lamp. However they may want to bask in front of the sun if you they have access to be in it.. with that said make sure their cage does not get to hot by being in direct sun light.<br><br>In closing their cage set-up at first is a little time-consuming, but once you have it figured out upkeep is fairly simple! Also, Newts can be held, but make sure to wash your hands before and after to keep from contaminating yourself of Newt!<br><br>Hope this review has helped you!."
From angel_1987 Mar 26 2014 10:40PM