Chinese Fire Bellied Newt
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The Chinese fire bellied newt (Cynops orientalis) is a small (2–4 inches long) semi-aquatic black salamander with a bright orange belly. The bright color is believed to warn potential predators of the salamander’s toxicity. The Chinese fire bellied newt is widely distributed in southern China, where it is abundant in ponds and streams. They feed on live small invertebrates such as bloodworms, earthworms, water fleas (Daphnia), adult brine shrimp, blackworms, tubifex, and mosquito larvae.
Chinese fire bellied newts are commonly sold in pet stores, where they are easily confused with the similar Japanese fire bellied newt (Cynops pyrrhogaster). Japanese fire bellied newts typically have smoother skin and rounder tails. Most fire bellied newts in the pet trade are wild-caught and have an average lifespan of 10 to 20 years.