Added 16 August 2003. Updated 24 March 2014: updated Introduction, Bibliography and Links.

The Family Salamandridae: Newts and Salamanders

Genus Paramesotriton - Warty Newts


Paramesotriton is a smallish genus of semi- to mostly aquatic newts that tend to live in calm, well-vegetated water. The common name derives from the bright display colours on the belly (usually orange, red or yellow), although dorsally they are usually black. Only two are seen with any regularity in the pet trade: P. pyrrhogaster and P. orientalis. The rest have fairly small ranges, and sadly P. wolterstorffi may now be extinct in the wild.

Indiviglio, Mattison and Patterson give care instructions for these attractive newts. The consensus seems to be a water depth of at least 8"(20cm) with aquatic vegetation, and a winter cooling period.

P. chonggongensis, Chonggong Fire-Bellied Newt

P. cyanurus, Blue-Tailed Fire-Bellied Newt

P. ensicauda, Japanese Sword-Tail Newt

P. orientalis, Chinese Fire-Bellied Newt

P. orphicus, Guangdong Fire-Bellied Newt

P. pyrrhogaster, Japanese Fire-Bellied Newt

P. wolterstorffi



Scientific Name

Common Name





P. caudopunctatus

Chenggong Fire-Bellied Newt

S China (Yunnan)


Found at 1,940m altitude: known only from type locality.

P. chinensis

Blue-Tailed Fire-Bellied Newt



S China (NE Yunnan and W Guizhou)



P. c. cyanurus

S China (W Guizhou)



P. c. yunnanensis

S China (NE Yunnan)



P. deloustali

Japanese Sword-Tail Newt

Japan (Ryuku islands)



P. fuzhongensis

Chinese Fire-Bellied Newt

E & C China



P. guangxiensis

Guangdong Fire-Bellied Newt?

China (Guangdong)



P. hongkongensis

Japanese Fire-Bellied Newt

Japan (Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku) 



P. laoensis


China (S Yunnan)




Herpetology of China, Er-mi Zhao and Kraig Adler, SSAR, 1993. Catalogue of practically every reptile and amphibian species found in mainland China, Hongkong, Macao, Tibet and Taiwan. There are few details of the ecology of the animals, but readers are referred to a very comprehensive bibliography, and colour plates are provided for many of the creatures listed.

Keeping and Breeding Amphibians, Chris Mattison, Blandford Press, 1993.

Newts & Salamanders - a complete pet owner's manual, Frank Indiviglio, Barrons 1997.

Newts, Jordan Patterson, TFH, 1994.


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