View Full Version : Sexing Notophthalmus viridescens

23rd July 2008, 23:23
I caught three central newts in my pond so that I wouldnt have to support the pet trade and I was wondering if anyone here could sex them. I hope that there is at least one male and one female. Another words, I want more than one sex because I intend to breed them. Here are some pics, sorry for any bad quality, it was taken with my cell phone.

http://www.caudata.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=79&pictureid=563 http://www.caudata.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=79&pictureid=559 http://www.caudata.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=79&pictureid=558

They were only in the sun for 3 minutes to take some pictures and they were put on wet wood, Not treated wood. It did not seem to bother them too much.

http://www.caudata.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=79&pictureid=562 http://www.caudata.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=79&pictureid=561 http://www.caudata.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=79&pictureid=560

They look more squished then they are and I know these are really blurry but it was the best I could get with my phone.

http://www.caudata.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=79&pictureid=530 http://www.caudata.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=79&pictureid=529 http://www.caudata.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=79&pictureid=528

This is the same newt.

Also they are not eating the worms I put in there when I am there, they just nip at it once or twice and then leave it. But they are putting on wait. They share a 10 gallon right now outside with 3 snails to help clean up and one tadpole that is too big to eat that also cleans the tank. This fall I will bring them in and put them in a twenty gallon tank.

Thank you for all your help.

24th July 2008, 01:16
With Notos, it can be VERY hard to distinguish sex outside of the breeding season. Anything you make now would be just guesses. My trio is just now getting his breeding garb on.
Here is a checklist of things to look for,

*have thinker hind legs than front legs, they use these for gripping the females during courtship.
*will develop a small to large "crest" on their tail. It will flatten out laterally, so it is more "fin" like, to help the male swim faster.
*they will also develop "nuptial pads". These are rough, dark or black pads of skin, located on the hind legs and toe tips. These help the male grasp the female during mating.

Potential Females have the same size hind legs as front legs and lack a crest and nuptial pads.
*note, they may also be immature males.
A gravid (pregnant) female will also have a full, pear shaped abdomen.
*note, not to be confused with an individual suffering from bloat.

Hope this helps answer your question.

24th July 2008, 01:27
could the females still have eggs? which form of Notos do you have? I found some babies in the pond also. Just two.

24th July 2008, 01:39
I rescued mine from the local pet store, they had them in a 1 gallon tank in a terrestrial set up!

So, unfortunately, I haven't the foggiest idea what subspecies they might be, or even if they are the SAME subspecies. :/

Its possible a female might still be gravid now, but not very likely. They generally breed in the colder months, and lay eggs February- May.

What type of setup do you have them in?

24th July 2008, 01:51
I have them in a ten gallon tank that is filled almost half-way with gravel and sand on one side and bare bottom on the other side. The side with sand and smoothe gravel also has a real and an artificial plant in it. They wont eat worms when I am there so I leave them in there and pick up the left overs later. Do yours have any spots or stripes? Two of mine have TINY red spots without any black outline on them. They are central newts. Oh I forgot to mention I have a few big rocks that come out of the water so the newts can rest on them and the plants that come to the surface of the water. They are outside. This fall when I bring them in, they will be in a 20 gallon long aquarium with a similar set up. What is your set-up?

24th July 2008, 02:10
How big is your gravel? You have to be careful with it becuase the newts can swallow some and it will get stuck in their intestines... which is bad news.

You found a baby? What does it look like? The common name Eastern Newt is given to the juvenile stage. They are bright red and are land dwelling.
The larval stage are like little tadpoles, with feather like gills and are olive colored.

My set up is also a ten gallon toped off at about 8 gallons. My newts are mostly aquatic, so i have a small floating turtle dock for them to haul out on. the bottom is white flaked slate, and i feed them in a ash tray on the bottom of the tank (I feed live, so I leave them in there for the newts to find and the worms dont get away) Most of my plants are also live, since breeding newts prefer them over plastic or silk plants. I have some java ferns and some java moss, and some Pothos.

24th July 2008, 02:27
My gravel is too big to swallow.

What do your newts look like?

The baby is about 1/2 inch long and is yellow-brown with gills.

My newts are central newts so they will probably skip the eft stage and become aquatic adults and if they go through the eft stage they wont be brilliantly colored.

Do you newts use the turtle dock very much?

The worms dont get out of the ashtray at the bottom of the tank? that is a good idea. I think I will try that.

Do you breed your newts? If you have do they go into an eft stage?

24th July 2008, 02:34
They are an olive brown with bright orange spots and a black ring around them. and lots of little black spots.

Thats soo cool. that would make them much easier to breed when they skip the eft stage.

Ive only had mine around for a few months, so no breeding yet. I think i might have three males tho... :( so I need to get them a girlfriend.

yeah the ashtray works like a charm. and it lets the skinny one have food all day. the other two stay in the water most of the time, so he missed out on food alot. (hes the only one using the dock)

24th July 2008, 12:23
Sounds like yours are red spotted newts. I am sure there are eastern newts where you live, if you live in the eastern states. Go check out a fishless weedy pond. Dont give up.

24th July 2008, 18:27
Too bad I live in Cali. We have Tiger sals and California newts. Both are way to protected. :(

24th July 2008, 18:29
Maby you could go to a petstore during breeding season or buy a female from a breeder on this site. Ask lilsoul, she breeds eastern newts and has females for sale, i believe.

25th July 2008, 02:37
Does anyone on this site have any good breeding tips for Notophthalmus viridescens louisianensis or other forms of eastern newts?

25th July 2008, 09:42
If you wanted to avoid the pet-trade, wouldn´t it have been better to acquire your animals from a breeder, therefore supporting captive breeding which is apparently your final goal Ō_o? I´m sorry if that sounded rude, not my intention, i just don´t really understand why collecting yourself is better than the pet-trade :S

25th July 2008, 13:36
Well in order to buy from the pet trade I would have to ask the petshop near me to ask for a a box of eastern newts and I am only allowed 3, so therefore about 15-20 would be taken from the wild instead of 3. I can also breed them and put the newly morphed adults back into the pond, my form of eastern newts skip the eft stage. Then I would give back more than my original three. And dont say I would introduce diseases because I wouldnt. Sorry if I sound rude but even some of the members/moderators said it would be better just to take 2 or 3 from my pond rather than have a shippment of 15-20 wild caught specimens be taken from the wild.

oregon newt
25th July 2008, 14:17
How would you not introduce diseases?:confused: There are some diseases that your newts might be immune to, but other populations might not be. You might not notice anything wrog with your newts, but they may still be able to spread disease. Usually when professionals, whose job it is to do this, release animals into the wild, I believe they make them go through some quarantine period. You may not even be allowed to release animals into the wild where you live. Also, you didn't understand that Rodrigo was talking about Captive Breeders, not your pet store that takes newts from the wild. So it actually would be better to get your animals from captive breeders, but it's probably okay if you only take a couple from the wild.

25th July 2008, 14:27
Agreed. Releasing can be a dangerous thing for wild populations. And making sure you´re not introducing patogens, is almost impossible for a hobbyists.
What i meant was to acquire your animal from a BREEDER, not a pet-shop. I know how pet-shops carry animals like this, it´s horrible and it should be avoided. But catching wild animals instead of trying to get captive bred ones seems like a pretty bad decission if you´re concerned enough to dislike pet-shops.

I trully think if you wanted to do the "right" thing you should have bought some captive bred stock....because in essence what you´ve done is like a small scale pet-trade....without the paying for part Ō_o. I mean, if you´re ok with it, it´s fine since the laws in your country allow it, but i don´t think it´s the right alternative.

25th July 2008, 15:21
My mom wouldnt let me buy newts from anywhere but a petstore so buying captive bred newts was impossible. And how could I introduce disease when I take adult newts from my pond breed them and release them back into my pond. They wouldnt contact disease in my house would they? It is basicly the same as if they stayed in the pond. I am NOT taking them out of one pond and releasing them into another. It is the SAME pond, so how could I introduce a new disease?

25th July 2008, 15:50
Well...patogens are everywhere. You could infect them with the water (tap water is not 100% clean), the plants, the food, your hands....etc etc. So YES there is a risk of infection from a patogen that´s not present in the pond. And a patogen that doesn´t affect captive animals can be potentially dangerous in the wild (captive animals are usually well-fed, and have a strong inmune system). This may sound paranoid, but it´s not the first time it happens. If people strongly discourage others from releasing animals is because there´s a strong reason for it.

25th July 2008, 16:24
how high is the risk of infecting them with food? I would buy bottled spring drinking water. Is that safe? And if I wash my hands thoroughly and rinse thoroughly I wont infect them with my hands will I.

oregon newt
25th July 2008, 18:22
Like azhael said, it is almost impossible to make sure you're not introducing pathogens.

25th July 2008, 21:06
Unless your house is sterile, and your water is sterile, and your food is sterile, and you keep the animals in a sterile environment, you WILL introduce pathogens.

Cut up a worm some time and look at the nematodes that live in its gut. Culture the surfaces in your house for bacteria and fungus.

It cannot be stressed enough how dangerous and just plain stupid it is to release captive animals into the wild.

25th July 2008, 23:31
Hi there,

I'm afraid it's rather hard to see enough detail on the photos that you provided. I was recently trying to mock up a quick sexing guide for Notophthalmus viridescens, so i thought i'd post it here and hope that it will help you to sex your newts yourself. As i have said numerous times below, this is based on a fairly limited number of individuals, and so i would not take it all as "fact", but hopefully it is of some use to you anyway:

Notophthalmus viridescens Sexing Guide
By Liam Reid

Notophthalmus viridescens are, among newts, one of the easier species to sex. This is due to their fairly obvious gross sexual dimorphism, which I shall describe in more detail below. I have tried to use a lot of photographs that I’ve taken over the years, to illustrate things. Please bear in mind that I have probably only observed around 15 adult Notophthalmus in the flesh, but I have seen many more via photograph. While probably not definitive, I hope this is of use to somebody.

Outwith Breeding Season:

(a) Males have much larger hind legs than females (See Figures 1 and 2):

http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/file_1623.jpg (http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/index.php?n=1623)
Figure 1: Male at bottom – large hindlimbs clearly visible.

http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/file_1624.jpg (http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/index.php?n=1624)
Figure 2: 3 females – hindlimbs not so well developed as in male.

(b) Head morphology seems quite different between males and females – females usually “broader”, and males usually taper to more of a “point”, rostrally (See Figure 3):

http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/file_1625.jpg (http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/index.php?n=1625)
Figure 3 – Poor photo of head morphology - male on the left, more pointed rostrally.

(c) Pigmentation is generally quite different between the genders. Once you become accustomed to spotting it, you can “usually” pick them out quite quickly using this – especially looking laterally. It’s a little hard to describe, but a male’s colour seems to gradually change as you move ventrally from his dorsum. The females, however, often have more of a clear-cut, demarcated “line” where the colour changes from dark to light. I find this is especially obvious when looking at the tail, which is also often more “flattened” in females, from my observations. The pigment line is NOT always so obvious, and depends on the animals in question, but while females may or may not have the clear-cut look, I have yet to see a male with this. Of course, I have based this particular facet of identification on a limited number of animals, so I would be wary of using it as a diagnostic feature. It would however certainly raise my index of suspicion, one way or the other. Apologies for being so long-winded! (See Figures 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8):

http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/file_1626.jpg (http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/index.php?n=1626)
Figure 4: an adult female, showing a clear-cut line along both her tail and body (male tail with breeding crest also visible, along with a male foot showing nuptual pads).

http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/file_1627.jpg (http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/index.php?n=1627)
Figure 5: Another adult female, showing the same clear-cut line. Some muck on the glass is obscuring it slightly over her body, but it is still clearly visible on her tail.

http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/file_1628.jpg (http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/index.php?n=1628)
Figure 6: Yet another adult female, showing the clear-cut pigment change line.

http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/file_1629.jpg (http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/index.php?n=1629)
Figure 7: An adult male, lacking the clear-cut line, but showing the more gradual change. I find that the tail often looks especially different between the sexes. Note the large hindlimbs, compared to the females in Figures 4, 5 and 6.

http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/file_1630.jpg (http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/index.php?n=1630)
Figure 8: Another adult male, showing the “diffuse” colour change typical of this gender. Again, the tail looks noticeably different to a female’s, and the hindlimbs are large.

(d) Females seem to generally be a bit larger than males, from my experience.

During Breeding Season:

(e) Males develop a high crest above their tails extending along their back to a degree - though much less pronounced in this area (See Figure 9).

http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/file_1631.jpg (http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/index.php?n=1631)
Figure 9: An adult male displaying his prominent crest during the breeding season

(f) Male’s cloaca enlarges considerably, and often see pale areas around it. If he opens it, you can clearly see his papillae (see Figures 10 and 11):

http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/file_1632.jpg (http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/index.php?n=1632)
Figure 10: Male with enlarged cloaca opened, revealing papillae.

(g) Male develops black nuptual pads on each of his hind toes, and his thighs (See Figure 11).

http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/file_1633.jpg (http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/index.php?n=1633)
Figure 11: An adult male, clearly displaying his nuptual pads and swollen cloaca.

(h) Male’s behaviour can change. He may be willing to amplex or tail-fan just about anything that moves. Rather than being fairly solitary, my males would constantly be following other newts in the breeding season, be they male or female. I have seen male to male amplexus also, but they seem to stop after only a short period.

(i) Females become gravid, and get much larger (See Figure 12):

http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/file_1634.jpg (http://www.caudata.org/photoplog/index.php?n=1634)
Figure 12: A heavily gravid female during the breeding season. This may be tricky to tell apart from bloat, but the animal is not likely to enlarge so far cranially if gravid.

(j) Female’s cloaca is small, in comparison to male’s

I hope that this basic guide has been useful. I am by no means an expert and have only been keeping this species for around 3 and a half years now, so please feel free to get in tough and contradict anything that I have said here.

My apologies for the poor quality of some of the photographs.

Disclaimer: All of these notes are based on the observations of Mr. Liam Reid, and are not necessarily conclusive. I take no responsibility for the mistaken sexing of any animals. These statements have been based on experiences with around 12 animals, and looking at photos of other individuals, and as such perhaps do not attain statistical significance.

26th July 2008, 02:54
Does anybody know if there is a color difference in the genders of N.v.l. or any other noto for that matter. Because three of mine are dark and one is a lot lighter. I am wondering if the lighter one is a female.

26th July 2008, 03:17
I wont release them back into the wild, but I need to know if it is legal to ship the offspring to other states. Does anybody know. I went into my DNR center and they did not tell me anything. Can anybody help me? Please!!! Would it be wrong to kill the eggs I cant keep?

26th July 2008, 03:21
I have bred the dorsalis variety for 4 generations now and find that the rear leg thickness difference is the most reliable trait of sexual dimorphism, whether in breeding season or not. As far as breeding them goes, manipulating their photoperiod to that of the area that they came from, and gradual cooling and then warming their water over the same period should provide all the stimulus that they'll need to breed.

26th July 2008, 03:27
have u bred your N.v.d.? I wish I had such a beautiful species but mine do have pretty bellies.

oregon newt
26th July 2008, 13:27
What is papillae? I looked it up and it said the tiny bumps on your tounge.:confused:

26th July 2008, 13:38
Papillae, in caudates are the little "hairs" that come out from male´s cloaca during breeding season. If i remember properly, they are used to deliver pheromones.

I´m glad you realized releasing newts is a BAD idea, and can be a real tragedy for wild populations.