Other common names: Iberian Ribbed Newt; Sharp Ribbed Newt; Sharp-ribbed Salamander; Gallipato
Scientific name: Pleurodeles waltl
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
Caution: Do Not Pet
Spanish Ribbed Newts (also known as Sharp Ribbed Newts) are awesome pets. They're easy to take care of and fun to watch, but don't pet them.
I got my Spanish Ribbed Newt as a castoff from a school going out of business. It had been in multiple classrooms and was older than me (they can live over 30 years). I spent years handling him until one day I was talking to a pet store employee who told me why they're called Sharp Ribbed Newts. Apparently, when threatened they eject their ribs and inject neurotoxins into their attacker... needless to say, I stopped handling my newt on a regular basis. He was still one of my favorite pets (how many pets have you had that look like dinosaurs?) and I would get another one..
From alrb06 Jan 13 2016 8:31AM
Surprisingly easy going, very docile creature. Requires patience to handle.
I had my newt for a total of five years at which point I let a friend look after him as he'd always wanted a newt. The last time we spoke apparently he was still going strong, so be prepared for a lengthy lifespan if you do decide to get one.
These particular newts are active and if you're patient enough, quite affectionate. I spent a great deal of time placing my hand on the bed of the tank allowing it to get used to the feel of walking on a human hand. After a certain amount of time I began lifting him up within the water, and he grew to remain seated on my palm. I'd advice wearing gloves as they can secret a toxin that irritates the skin and it wouldn't be a good idea to touch your eyes or mouth after handling. My newt responded well to his back being stroked and in terms of feeding, care and maintenance they're a cheap, easy pet to look after.
However, if they get on your floor, they're fast movers. Incredibly so. Catching them can be hard if you let them go for a runaround and you'll need to do so before their skin gets too dry. Luckily mine only went on an escape mission once, and we were able to scoop him up in an ice cream tub and plop him back in the tank.
Really enjoyable to watch them swim, and feeding them a cube of frozen bloodworms is one of the easiest things I've done in terms of pet maintenance. A pleasure to own and quite sweet when they get used to being handled. They can grow as big as you like depending on how much you feed them, so bear in mind that an upgrade in tank size may be needed a few years down the line.
Great pets with no complaints..
From olinejad Jun 29 2014 3:07PM