New Article: Newt Care and Breeding: an Overview

findi

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Hi All,


Please check out: Newts: an Introduction to Captive Care


Although my interests are wide, newts and salamanders have always held a special fascination for me. Beginning in childhood, I sought to keep and breed as many species as possible, and I focused on their husbandry and conservation when I entered the zoo field. In time, I wrote a book summarizing my experiences (please see below). The following information may be applied to the care of Japanese Fire-Bellied, Eastern, California, Ribbed and Paddle-Tailed Newts, as well as most others that appear in the pet trade. Read article here: Newts as Pets - an Introduction to their Care and Feeding | That Reptile Blog
Comments and questions appreciated,

Thanks, Frank

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Bio: That Pet Place welcomes Zoologist/Herpetologist Frank Indiviglio to That Reptile Blog | That Reptile Blog
 

evut

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Hi Frank,
thank you for the link. It's a nice short introduction for people who might be considering keeping newts as pets.

I was very surprised to read about alpine newts producing live young - is that true of certain populations or when does this happen?

It would be great if the article mentioned that newts can also be obtained from breeders, not just pet shops. Even if there are pet shops with animals that aren't wild caught, these are extremely rare. A brief look at the Help section on this forum will reveal how often people purchase newts (usually H. orientalis) with sores which in most cases lead to death for the newt and heartbreak for the owner. I think it would be worth pointing this out to people who might be interested in newt keeping.
 
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Molch

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I agree on mentioning breeders! Pet shop newts are almost always in deplorable condition, and people should not be encouraged to buy from there.

I think maybe he means alpine salamanders rather than alpine newts?

also, I was a bit worried about the very first statement saying that newts can thrive on commercial pellets and people don't need to handle live "insects". Well, there may be some high quality pellets such as trout pellets, but those are not usually found at pet shops. I think anyone wanting to keep a newt should be made aware that they DO need live foods (mostly worms rather than insects, plus frozen bloodworms, which are available at pet shops) to thrive and that pellets could be a supplement but rarely a sole food source. People who are unwilling to handle live food have no business keeping newts, in my opinion.

also, paddle tails are famously aggressive and shouldn't be included in the statement that newts usually live well in groups.

all in all, I think it's a bit too watered-down, generalized information, sort-of a one-size-fits-all across all newts species.; I think it might be better to stress the importance of first and foremost knowing which species one has and then to research the specific needs of that species (A link to the care sheet pages on caudata would be great...). Oh, and to buy some live worms ;)
 
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FrogEyes

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The only thing I noticed immediately was the alpine newt [Ichthyosaura alpestris] "live birth" reference. I'm pretty sure that should be the alpine salamander [Salamandra atra], a very different creature. It won't be long before someone is repeating this as an authoritatave myth, founded on one little slip.

I will find the time to more thoroughly read through, although as Claudia has pointed out, torrent newts aren't especially sociable. They can be kept in groups, but are territorial, and quite predaceous and aggressive to anything else in the environment.
 

findi

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Hi all,

Yes, I had Salamandra atra in mind; I'll make the change in the text, thanks. Caudata.org has always been a strong supporter of captive breeding, and I agree completely.

There have been widely varying results re such matters as diet, housing in groups, substrate and filtration, and we have much to learn. Your observations and opinions are most useful, thank you.

Best, Frank
 
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