they are indestructible, easy to breed, very easy to feed, totally acquatic, and they can withstand high temperatures (not over 30C) for short period (housing them all summer with 28-30C and they be fine) :ufo:
I would have voted for Triturus dobrogicus had it been an option. Pleurodeles are (in my opinion) the best of the options available for a beginner. They are hardy, always CB, inexpensive and widely available. The reputation of C. orientalis as an easy beginner species needs to change given how difficult the young are to raise and the fact that they are almost always wild caught.
A lot of the species you listed have become pretty hard to come by in the hobby too. C. pyrrhogaster and Tylototriton species in general are much less common than just a few years ago. Its weird to think that CB N. kaiseri "the rarest newt in the world" are pretty much available year round and species like C. pyrrhogaster which were available for cheap for decades have all but disappeared.
I vote Tiger salamander. Indestructible, eats anything, and unlike the others, it's terrestrial. For beginners, I suggest medium sized terrestrial animals, simply because they're easier to feed. Ribbed newts are supposedly hardy too, just haven't gotten my grubby pre-teen hands on them (Yet )
I agree with otolith, Triturus and Pleurodelese are both good species for getting started. I also think Tylototriton verrucosus are fun to watch and easy to keep if they are available. They seem to like warmer temps than Pleurodelese waltl, but apart from that they seem to do well under the same conditions.
I wouldn't recommend any of the Cynops/Hypselotriton complex newts because of the reasons already mentioned. They do eventually make fantastic pets, but captive bred stock are almost always available as tiny terrestrial juveniles that can be tricky to raise until you get the hang of it. H. cyanurus are a possible exception to the rule, although they are often described in books as being more delicate than the other members of the genus.
I think Tylototriton verrucosus is probably the best beginner species. Though P. waltl and T. dobrogicus are also very good options if you can provide cool enough temperatures. The reason I'd suggest T. verrucosus is they are very tolerant of a wide range of temperatures, more so than most other newts. In fact I have found that, when kept aquatic at least, they thrive at warm temperatures.
I think I would go for a Tylototriton verrucosus because of how temperature tolerant they are and also I would really like to raise a salamander from an egg but I don't know if that is a good idea for someone just starting out
I would also add that pachytriton labiatus makes a great starter species. They are fully aquatic, colorful, and interesting creatures. I got my paddle tail ("Mrs. Doubtfire") as my first newt last year, and she is doing great in a six gallon fluval edge tank with lots of live plants and a family of guppies for food and company.
The problem with Paddletails is the fact that they are taken from the wild in China and shipped all over the world in pretty awful conditions. It isn't known what effect exporting thousands of them every year is having on wild populations, but it unlikely to be doing them any good.
Also, they are rarely labelled correctly in petstores or aquarium shops, so even knowing exactly what species you have with any certainty is difficult, and then there is their highly aggressive nature. They will often fight to the death over territory when two or more of them are confined to an aquarium, even newts that have lived together for extended periods can suddenly turn on each other for reasons unknown.
I will say they are reasonably straightforward to care for when kept alone, but with so many more peaceful, captive bred species available like Crested, Alpine or Spanish sharp rib newts available there's really no need to rely on any of the wild caught imported Asian species.
I voted Tiger Salamander. They are a good size so easy to monitor. They are perfectly content in a damp terrestrial enclosure and they will eat anything. I also found that they are very forgiving when it comes to temperatures as well.
@sde, hi everybody I'm getting a tiger salamander coming from Katy Texas what are the shipping conditions that's okay to have them shipped to me in the state of Vermont it's just starting to get the temperature low above 45 but it may be too hot to ship him any thoughts or ideas on how to work this out
I currently have a 3 year old axolotl, he hasn't been eating for the past couple of weeks and has lost a lot of weight. Hedwig usually eats bloodworms and earthworms just fine but now he won't even stud it. I've done a water change to make his nitrate lower and his water is at a good temperature