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Crocodile Newt Fact File

Appearance

The skin of the crocodile newt is colored a chocolate brown or black. Along the tail, head, limbs and the tubercules of the rib peaks they may be colored orange or orange-brown. Their head is oval in shape.

Their tail is compressed and has a fin-fold that is well developed. The tail is typically lighter in color when compared with the rest of the body.

Females tend to be much larger than the males. An average length for this species is between 16 and 20cm (6.3-7.9in) long.

Diet

Crocodile newts are carnivores which will feed on a range of invertebrates such as insects and earthworms. Larvae will primarily feed on aquatic insects.

Adults may cannibalize young frogs and eggs.

crocodile newt

Scientific Name

Tylototriton verrucosus

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Length

16-20cm (6.3-7.9in)

Lifespan

10 years

Diet

Carnivorous

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Range

Asia is the native home of the crocodile newt. Here they can be found in the following countries – China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Thailand.

They may potentially be extinct in Viet Name while the species is considered extinct in Bhutan and Lao People's Democratic Republic.

Note: This species geographic range remains unclear as it continues to be split in to separate species or have populations assigned to other species. The range listed here is the current recognized range by the IUCN.

Habitat

They make their home in mountain forests, shrubland and wetlands. Crocodile newts are often found near a water source such as a pool, stream or lake.

Populations of the crocodile newt can be found in close proximity to humans and agricultural areas.

Reproduction

Males will attract a mate by dancing around and bending, pushing and curving their tail.

Breeding occurs during the monsoon season when adults will gather at the breeding ponds. This is from March to May in much of their range but may continue till September in some areas.

Females will attach their eggs to water plants. Each clutch includes between 26 and 60 eggs. Females may provide some parental care.

Sexual maturity is reached between 3 and 5 years old.

crocodile newt

Behavior

Crocodile newts will move between the land and water. Most of the spring, summer and autumn will see this species be completely aquatic rarely emerging from the water.

Throughout winter and dry periods these animals will burrow under the ground.

These animals are primarily active at night.

Predators and Threats

Their bright coloration shows that the crocodile newt can exude a foul tasting substance if captured by a predator.

This species faces a number of threats including habitat destruction, the introduction of competitors, collection for the pet trade and for traditional medicine. In parts of their range they are collected and used as bait.

In some areas the crocodile newt is viewed as a bad omen and they may persecuted as a result.

Quick facts

The crocodile newt is known by a range of alternative names. These include the Himalayan newt, Mandarin salamander, red knobby newt, crocodile salamander or Inthanon salamander.

Crocodile newts are able to regrow limbs which may be lost. This ability is possible due to a peptide in their skin. Scientists have isolated this and will use it for research in speeding up wound treatment.

crocodile newt

Photo Credits

Top and Bottom

By Wilfried Berns, CC BY-SA 2.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4234139\

Middle

By SATOSHI TOMIYAMA – originally posted to Flickr as Tylototriton verrucosus-Himalayan Crocodile Newt-アメイロイボイモリ, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9779003

References

Burnie, D., 2011. Animal. 3rd ed. London: DK

Ambrose, J., 2015. Wildlife Of The World. 1st ed. London: Dorling Kindersley

Amphibiansoftheworld.amnh.org. 2021. Tylototriton verrucosus Anderson, 1871 | Amphibian Species of the World. [online] Available at: <https://amphibiansoftheworld.amnh.org/Amphibia/Caudata/Salamandridae/Pleurodelinae/Tylototriton/Tylototriton-verrucosus> [Accessed 2 March 2021].

Oceanario.pt. 2021. Crocodile newt. [online] Available at: <https://www.oceanario.pt/en/exhibitions/aquarium/amphibians/crocodile-newt> [Accessed 2 March 2021].

Peter Paul van Dijk, Guinevere Wogan, Michael Wai Neng Lau, Sushil Dutta, Tej Kumar Shrestha, Debjani Roy & Nguyen Quang Truong. 2004. Tylototriton verrucosus (errata version published in 2018). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T59487A136598393. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2004.RLTS.T59487A11934912.en. Downloaded on 02 March 2021.

Exotic-pets.co.uk. 2021. Crocodile Newt – Tylototriton verrucosus. [online] Available at: <https://www.exotic-pets.co.uk/crocodile-newt.html> [Accessed 2 March 2021].

AmphibiaWeb 2020 Tylototriton verrucosus: Himalayan Newt <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/4309> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 2, 2021.

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