Fire Belly Newt Genus [A Beginner’s Guide]

Fire Belly Newt

The Fire Belly Newt, also called the Fire Newt, is a genus of newts scientifically called Cynops. These newts are found in Japan and China.

They are known for their bright yellow or red bellies, but this feature is not only found in this group.

These newts have a toxin in their skin that can be harmful if someone eats them.

What Are the Different Species of Fire Belly Newts?

As of October 2019, there are several species of fire belly newts. Here’s a list of them:

Scientific NameCommon NameDistribution
Cynops chenggongensisChenggong Fire Belly NewtChenggong District of Yunnan
Cynops cyanurusChuxiong Fire-bellied Newt or Blue-tailed Fire Belly NewtGuizhou and Yunnan
Cynops ensicaudaOkinawan Sword-tail NewtRyukyu Archipelago in Japan
Cynops fudingensisFuding Fire Belly NewtFuding in northeastern Fujian
Cynops glaucusChinese Firebelly NewtGuangdong, China
Cynops orientalisChinese Fire Belly NewtChina
Cynops orphicusDayang Newt or Dayang Fire Belly NewtJiexi County in eastern Guangdong
Cynops pyrrhogasterJapanese Fire Belly NewtJapan
Cynops wolterstorffiYunnan Lake NewtYunnan, China
Cynops yunnanensisYunnanChina

Some of these newts have been moved into a different group called Hypselotriton in some classifications.

What Is the Taxonomic Controversy About Fire Belly Newts?

There is a debate about whether the group Cynops should be split into two groups, with the Chinese species in a separate group from the Japanese ones.

The species Cynops cyanurus is at the center of this debate.

There is a lot of disagreement about the true identity of C. cyanurus and C. chenggongensis.

Some people think that all the known captive animals could be different from C. cyanurus since they don’t quite match the original description of the species.

The only animals that do match are from Chemnitz Zoo, but their offspring have not bred well, which could mean they are actually a mix of C. cyanurus and C. chenggongensis or an unknown Cynops species.

Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Cynops
Also Known As:Fire Belly Newt, Fire Newt

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