Fire Bellied Newt: Facts, Lifespan, Care, Feeding, & Breeding



Fire bellied newts are amphibian animals that inhabit various ponds, marshes, pools, paddy fields, and seepages in degraded, as well as in forest habitats. They can be found in China, and this is why they are also called Chinese fire belly newts. The provinces that they inhabit the most are Hubei, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Anhui. They belong to the Salamandridae family, and their Latin name is Cynops Orientalis.


Fire Bellied Newt Lifespan & Size

In the wilderness, fire bellied newts live from 10 to 15 years on average, but they can live much longer. If they are properly cared for, fire newts can live even up to 30 years. Still, proper care doesn’t guarantee that the animal will live that long.

Chinese fire belly newts can vary in size from 3 to 4 inches or 6 to 10 centimeters. Fire bellied newts have a growth period of roughly four months, and after that, they develop into adults.

Fire Bellied Newt Facts & Characteristic

Chinese fire belly newts have a smoother skin compared to their Japanese cousins, and on their underside, they usually have speckled orange spots. Sometimes they can have color variations with a touch of brown or red, with the colors extending to their tail as well.

Additionally, their colors might change over time as they get older. When compared to other newt species, Chinese fire bellied newts are very active, and this is why they are popular as pets.

Chinese fire belly newt
Adult Fire Bellied Newt Source

They are not shy animals, but it might take them some time to get comfortable and used to certain surroundings. Even though they are friendly to other similar breeds, it might be harmful to put them together as they release toxins that could endanger other animals.


Surprisingly, there is not much accurate information on what these amphibians eat in the wild. However, it is presumed that their diet includes eggs, amphibian larvae, and various invertebrates. As pets, there is a wide choice of food that can be given to them including bloodworms, waxworms, earthworms, glass shrimp, chipped nightcrawlers, etc.

Some fire bellied newts like commercial newt pellets, while some will refuse to eat this food. When a fire bellied newt finds a new home, it won’t want to eat for a couple of days, and this is completely normal. They need time to get used to the environment, and once they do, they will start eating.

Fire Bellied Newt Care

Adequate housing

The best housing option for a Chinese fire belly newt is an aquarium that has plants and smaller areas covered with land. These species like floating plants and dense vegetation. On land, it’s good to have stacked rocks that rise above the water. In some cases, a specimen will refuse to go into the water for a long time due to the stress of captivity, and you will have to be patient.

A Good Chinese Fire Belly Newt Terrarium
Good Fire Belly Newt Terrarium Source


The ideal temperature of the aquarium is fairly cool, from 14 to 20 degrees Celsius or 58 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that the temperature in no circumstance rises above 23 degree Celsius or 74 degrees Fahrenheit, as it might be deadly.


Most of the aquarium should be covered in water, and even though the level of the water is basically your choice, there is really no need for it to be deeper than 25 centimeters or 10 inches. Make sure that you change the water at least once a week and doing it even more often is a good idea. This is how you will ensure that there is not too much bacteria in it.

Fire Bellied Newt Breeding

The process of breeding is not complicated, but it might take several tries. Basically, you need to simulate spring, as this is when their breeding instincts kick in. This requires you to cool your newt for around a month and a half before the breeding and reducing the temperature to approximately 10 degrees Celsius. Once this period has passed, raise the temperature to 20 degrees Celsius and feed your newt well.

A single adult can hatch from 100 to 200 eggs, usually on the top of the water plants. When this happens, make sure to separate adults from the eggs so that they don’t eat them and wait for 4 to 6 weeks until the eggs hatch.