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 Name||Common Name||Distribution|
|Cynops chenggongensis||Chenggong Fire Belly Newt||Chenggong District of Yunnan|
|Cynops cyanurus||Chuxiong Fire-bellied Newt or Blue-tailed Fire Belly Newt||Guizhou and Yunnan|
|Cynops ensicauda||Okinawan Sword-tail Newt||Ryukyu Archipelago in Japan|
|Cynops fudingensis||Fuding Fire Belly Newt||Fuding in northeastern Fujian|
|Cynops glaucus||Chinese Firebelly Newt||Guangdong, China|
|Cynops orientalis||Chinese Fire Belly Newt||China|
|Cynops orphicus||Dayang Newt or Dayang Fire Belly Newt||Jiexi County in eastern Guangdong|
|Cynops pyrrhogaster||Japanese Fire Belly Newt||Japan|
|Cynops wolterstorffi||Yunnan Lake Newt||Yunnan, China|
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.