Other common names: Lorestan Newt, Luristan Newt, Emperor Spotted Newt, Zagros Newt, Iranian Harlequin Newt, Kaiser Newt
Scientific name: Neurergus kaiseri
This spectacularly-colored newt, relatively new to the pet trade, has quickly become one of the world’s most sought-after species. As wild populations are threatened by over-collection, only captive bred specimens should be purchased (wild-caught animals are now protected by international law). This endangered species is best left to the care of zoos and highly-skilled private keepers.
The Kaiser’s Spotted Newt is limited to Iran’s southern Zagros Mountains, where it has been documented at only 4 sites. It is found in and along mountainous streams flowing through arid scrubland and open forests.
Appearance / health:
The jet black body is marked with a highly-variable pattern of white spots and bands, and a red-orange or yellow dorsal stripe. The legs bear red-orange and white markings. Adults reach 14 cm (5.6 in) in length.
Behavior / temperament:
Kaiser’s Spotted Newts adjust well to captivity if provided proper care. Aquatic phase adults are more active and 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 or with wet hands so that the skin’s protective mucus is not removed.
Two to three adults may be kept in a 10 gallon aquarium; larger tanks will support groups. Moist sphagnum or carpet moss makes a good substrate, with cork bark rolls serving as retreats. Adults in the aquatic (breeding) phase should be kept in a filtered 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. Kaiser’s Spotted Newts do best at 60-68 F, but will remain active at higher and lower temperatures.
A variety of tiny invertebrates should be provided as food. Sow bugs, small crickets, white worms, fruit flies, blackworms, chopped earthworms and other invertebrates are accepted. Aquatic forms readily devour commercial newt chow as well as live foods. Most meals offered to terrestrial adults should be coated with a powdered Calcium/Vitamin D3 supplement. A vitamin/mineral supplement may be used 2-3x weekly.
Breeding males may be distinguished by the swollen area about the cloaca. A cooling-off period of 4-6 weeks at 40-50 F may spark breeding activity. Females attach their eggs, singly or in small groups, to submerged plants or rocks. The larvae may be raised on live blackworms and frozen bloodworms. Metamorphosis is attained in 2-3 months, depending upon temperature.
Written by Frank Indiviglio
"Our newt, Tiger, is a pretty peaceful guy. He's just occupied with doing his own thing: eating blood worms and swimming around his tank. He doesn't care about what's happening outside his home; it doesn't affect him and he gets fed either way. It's almost therapeutic, watching him swim around with no cares or worries. Just swishing his tail back and forth and swimming around because he feels like it. Often, I can feel his calmness rubbing off onto me after just a few minutes of watching him. I like our peaceful coexistence, me sitting with him to cool down and him not caring about my presence. And as long as I don't try to handle him, our coexistence remains peaceful.<br>He's a wonderful companion, though not the kind that wants to cuddle up to you.."
From bluemaple Oct 24 2014 10:40PM
"Kaiser's Spotted Newt (Neurergus kaiseri) is a spectacularly patterned newt species and I would consider it one of the most beautiful of all newt species. Terrestrial habitats occupied by N. kaiseri include diverse community types<br>encompassing oak-pistachio open woodlands dominated by Quercus brantii and Pistachio spp in the south-central Zagros. This open woodland grows on various soil types including deep sandy loam soils at the bottom of valleys or gravelly soils at the slopes of steep valleys. In the wild N. kaiseri experiences a highly seasonal climate. Winters are cold and summers can be very hot and dry. They should eat wide variety of suitable-sized invertebrates. Unlike the other Neurergus species, N. kaiseri have been observed breeding in stagnant pond-type environments. Although they inhabit still water in the wild, captive breeding has generally taken place in aquariums that have some gentle water flow. A Great Salamander for any Amphibian Enthusiast.."
From RobWedderburn Jan 26 2016 3:53AM