Emperor/Mandarin Newt

Emperor/Mandarin Newt Tylototriton shanjing

Type of Animal:

Mountain areas along/near rivers, rice paddies, ponds, humid grasslands beside trenches, pools/slow-moving streams in mountains, mountain ditches, mountain forest, mountain wetlands, pools/slow-moving streams in subtropical forest, cool woodland in vicinity of slow-moving water, forest near slow-moving water

C, W, & S Yunnan

Ridged orange head, single orange ridge along back lined w/ 2 parallel rows of orange bumps on black background, orange legs/tail, shade of orange can be complete orange to red-orange, round body, flat broad-finned tail, tadpoles have white/cream bellies for 1st-3rd day after hatching

Insects, worms, insect larvae, centipedes, snails, slugs, baby mice, shrimp

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos, aquariums, & herpetoculture

Small groups of around 4-6 newts

Additional Info:

Young: Eft/Tadpole
Group: Congress/Band

Male: 0.9 oz
Female: 1 oz

2-3 weeks

Life Span:
10 years in wild, 12-15 years in captivity

Body Length:
Male: 6.69 in
Female: 5.9 in
Tadpole: 0.59 in
Eft: 1.9 in

Tail Length:
Male: 4.5 in
Female: 3 in

Due to highly toxic skin, it doesn’t have any primary predators. Bright colors warn it’s inedible. If grabbed, rib tips squeeze out poison from orange wart glands. Also, thick bone in skull/top of vertebrae.
Active at night (nocturnal).
Threatened due to water pollution, habitat loss/destruction/degradation, overharvesting for traditional Chinese medicine, pet trade, & diseases.
Also called Emperor Salamander, Mandarin Salamander, Chinese Newt, & Yunnan Newt.
Usually breed from late March-August.
Courtship involves male & female turning in circles underwater, w/ snouts nearly touching.
A day after mating, females deposit eggs on rocks/plants in standing water, either singly or in clumps, laying 20-240 eggs once breeding season over.
Almost fully terrestrial outside breeding season.
Larvae hatch after 10 days of being in egg, measuring 0.35 in w/ white/cream bellies for 1st-3rd day after hatching, then becoming yellowish, then darkening, finally metamorphosing after 2-5 months into efts becoming more accustomed to land w/ transition period ending & gills gone by 6 months old. They reach sexual maturity at 1-2 years old.
Rather shy in wild.
Often hibernate in very cool weather.

Fun Fact(s):
Can regenerate body parts.
Shanjing part of scientific name derives from 2 mandarin words-“shan” meaning mountain & “jing” meaning spirit or demon.
hey have enough toxin in skin to kill 7,500 mice.

1 thought on “Emperor/Mandarin Newt

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