Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Paddletail Newt

Pachytriton labiatus
Paddletail Newts do indeed have a paddle-like tail. It is laterally compressed, and rounded at the end. They are an aquatic species, so this tail helps them greatly while swimming. They also use their tails for courtship and communication-- they wave and fan them from side to side when excited or afraid.

These particular Amphibians are kept as pets, but are very often mislabeled as Firebelly Newts. Paddletails are actually larger than Firebellies, and are more aggressive-- they will even attack and kill other Newts. So it's very important to do your homework if you're after one of these as a pet!

In the wild, Paddletail Newts are found only in China. They live in streams of varying sizes, and are considered to be common at this point. Worms, Mollusks, and Insects make up their diet, and when it comes to reproduction, they make pretty good moms. The females will guard over their eggs until they hatch, a practice that not many Amphibians partake in.

Though they are common now, the population of Paddletail Newts is declining. Habitat loss, collection for the pet trade, and their use in traditional medicine are all causes for concern.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : China
Size : Body Length up to 6in (16cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Amphibia -- Order : Caudata
Family : Salamandridae -- Genus : Pachytriton -- Species : P. labiatus
Image : SADelPlata

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