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Crocodile Newts (Tylototriton & Echinotriton)... Two popular genera of Asian newts, the crocodile newts are diverse of habit, habitat, and appearance. The Mandarin or Emperor Newt, Tylototriton shanjing, is highly sought after.

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Old 25th March 2001   #1
mark
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Alright, I have heard two different arguments from very credible people about this species. One person says that they are semi-aquatic, while the other says they need the same conditions as T. shanjing. I'm not sure which one is correct, or maybe they both are and kweichowensis can live in both of these conditions. However, anyone out there who keeps or knows a lot about this species please answer this post! Thanks.

Mark



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Old 7th November 2001   #2
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I thought it interesting to reopen this conversation. People I know who breed this species keep the adults in mainly aquatic conditions, with for example, a large island in the centre of the tank.

This species has a substantially higher tail fin than Tylototriton shanjing, which also tends to suggest to me that they are reasonably aquatic.

It is true though that it is possible to keep them like T. shanjing, though they do seem to prefer more moist conditions than T. shanjing.



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Old 11th June 2002   #3
gilles
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Hi everyone;
Her is what I see with my juveniles:
My kweichowensis (around eight cm long) are kept in an one meter long aquaterrarium (half land\water);
and I must say that they are quite aquatic.I keep them in moist conditions.Every morning when I take a look to the tank when I wake up I am sure to find one or two animals in the water...They are not afraid by deep water.
They are pretty good swimmers.

Best regards;

Gilles S. (France)



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Old 11th June 2002   #4
john
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I agree - they are quite willing to enter the water, but they seem to spend most of their time on land as juveniles.



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Old 12th June 2002   #5
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You are perfectly right John, I did not mean to say the opposite.Most of their time mine spent hidden under moss or in their "cave", but I also see them very often in the water, a lot less than they are on land, that is for sure but quite often though.
Sorry if I couldn't make me well understood;


sorry for bad english;)


Gilles



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Old 13th June 2002   #6
heather
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I see the same behavior in some of my shanjing. Especially lately. I find a couple of my males and at least one of my females visiting the "pond" area of their enclosure almost daily.



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Old 13th June 2002   #7
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Not being dismissive here, but your adult Tylototriton shanjing are probably entering the water for breeding purposes, which is a totally different reason to Gilles' juvenile T. kweichowensis. If you compare the morphology of these two species, the latter is much better equipped for a semi-aquatic/aquatic existence than the former. These two species are very different in their habits and preferences anyway, so I don't see the relevant comparison.



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Old 5th June 2003   #8
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Since "What do you find so special about them?" would be a redundant question - the piccies speak for themselves - can I ask u to tell us a little more about them - "temperament", needs, observations?
(I ask coz I'm yet to see a care sheet for them... so I'd like to know about habits and preferences... example - has your experience since the debate above, one to two years ago, further confirmed your conclusion? )



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Old 5th June 2003   #9
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Well they are quite gregarious, similar to T. verrucosus in that respect. The main difference being that T. kweichowensis are much more terrestrial. They seem to like semi-aquatic conditions and will often spend a long time hunting about in the water. They're perhaps not as tolerant of high temperatures as T. verrucosus.

They're not timid at all when used to people and will beg for food on land or in water.

I very much like the species and would love to breed them some day.



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Old 11th June 2003   #10
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John,
I have 4 wild caught T.kweichowensis arriving in a day or so. could you give me any advice on the setups I should have ready for them.I'm thinking I should probably keep them seperate until I can see them all feeding and in good health. Do I need to provide them with half land and half water or will a good sized water dish be sufficient until I can set up their permanent enclosure? Any tips or tricks for keeping this species would really be appreciated.



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Old 12th June 2003   #11
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Adult Tylototriton kweichowensis are semi-aquatic. Unlike the somewhat "hydrophobic" Tylototriton shanjing they frequently enter the water to search for food. One breeder I know keeps his adults in a nearly fully aquatic setup with a large island in the middle. A safe maximum temperature for them is probably about 25 degrees Celsius. They tend to be quite active at the warmer end of this range and more aquatic than usual. I would favour the 50/50 water/land approach. They aren't picky eaters and I've found they do well on chopped earthworms and whole waxworms. Adults can reach 25 cm (10 inches) and can eat whole small earthworms or large ones cut in half. A good winter temperature range would be 10-15 degrees Celsius (50 - 59 degrees F) but that is probably only necessary if you intend to breed them - slightly warmer is suitable otherwise. Just like other Tylototriton they can become quite tame and will readily take food from tweezers once used to captivity. They are not as delicate as Tylototriton shanjing, though it would be wise to be careful with newly captive individuals. The recent posts of T. shanjing setups by Mark Naguib and Duncan Buchanan are ideal for T. kweichowensis too, just be aware that these newts are generally significantly bigger than T. shanjing.

Good luck.



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Old 12th June 2003   #12
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John,
Thanks alot for the advice. I'll keep every one posted on their health and will hopefully post some pics soon.



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Old 13th June 2003   #13
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Any notes of interest you can offer us on breeding them, John (since you'd like to do this one day and you know a breeder?)
What is known of the kweichowensis birds and bees?



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Old 13th June 2003   #14
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John,
My Tylototriton Kweichowensis arrived today(pic of one under the "photo gallery"). How can I tell the males from the females?



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Old 17th June 2003   #15
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Males tend to have sort of straight heads while females have more triangular ones when (all when viewed from above). Females tend to be more bulky in build. Comparing the cloaca of a male and female in breeding mode, the male's cloaca is quite swollen and easy to distinguish from the relatively unswollen cloaca of a female. When not in breeding mode, the easiest way to tell males from females is the length of the cloacal slit. If you can hold them correctly, it's possible to push the sides of the cloaca apart to show the slit. A male's slit is much longer than the female's. This holds true for all Tylototriton newts in my experience. T. kweichowensis are actually quite easy to sex in my experience based on the body shape.

As for breeding them. It's the usual Tylototriton increase in temperature and humidity - above about 22 or 23 degrees Celsius they tend to be more eager to enter the water. Increased feeding seems to help too. A tank with a large island and about 10 cm of warm water is in theory all you need to get them going, with some luck.



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Old 30th June 2003   #16
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Old 30th June 2003   #17
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Would a simple rock island (with water space beneath it) with moss and caves do for a pair or more in a 2ft longX1ft back by 1.5ft high (60X30X45cm) or woul they need abiggar tank.
Chris



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