Japanese Fire-bellied Newt

Endemic to Japan, this amphibian can be found in rice paddies, ponds, and wetlands from lowlands to mountains. Its genetic makeup differs greatly by region, especially in the Kanto and Tohoku regions. Its total length is 8–13 cm. Being omnivorous, it feeds on a variety of foods, including insects, worms, and the eggs of amphibians.
Males have a short tail with a tapered tip, and females have a longer tail with the same width all the way to the tip. Courtship behavior involves the male bending its tail in front of a female and wiggling it. Breeding season is from April to July, and after internal fertilization, eggs are laid one by one in water plants. Up to 40 eggs can be laid at a time, and 100–400 over a longer period of time.
The Japanese fire-bellied newt possesses a powerful neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin, which is the same as the poison of the fugu fish.

  • Classification

    Family Salamandridae

  • Distribution

    Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, etc.