The Paddletail Newt, also known as Paramesotriton labiatus, is a type of newt found in the family Salamandridae. It’s native to Guangxi, China.
This newt has many other names, such as Unterstein’s Newt, Spotless Stout Newt, Spotless Smooth Warty Newt, and Zhao Ermi’s Smooth Warty Newt.
What Does a Paddletail Newt Look Like?
Paddletail Newt has a flat body and long, paddle-like tail. Its color ranges from black to brown to pale brown.
These newts have orange markings on the bottom of their bodies and may have some orange dots on their backs.
Their skin is very smooth and covered in mucus. Their limbs are short compared to their body size.
Size and Morphology
Paddletail Newts are similar in size and shape to Pachytriton brevipes.
Females can grow up to 190 mm in total length, while males are smaller and weigh less.
Their head is flat, and their trunk is stout and robust. Their eyes are small and located at or near the jaw angle.
How Do Paddletail Newts Find Food?
Paddletail Newts use their senses of sight and smell to locate food.
Food can be scarce in their natural environments, so they can go for weeks without eating. However, when kept in captivity, they should be fed regularly.
How Long Do Paddletail Newts Live?
The lifespan of Paddletail Newts in the wild is unknown, but in captivity, they usually live for 10 to 20 years.
How Do Paddletail Newts Communicate?
Paddletail Newts are known for their unique communication.
They fan their tails when trying to attract the attention of another newt, when they are startled or frightened, or when approached by a conspecific.
What Is the Difference Between Paddletail Newts and Japanese Fire Belly Newts?
Paddletail Newts are sometimes confused with Japanese Fire Belly Newts and sold as such.
However, Paddletail Newts are much larger and more aggressive. They will eat smaller Fire Belly Newts if given the chance.
What Is the Spotted Paddle-Tail Newt?
The Spotted Paddle-tail Newt is a similar species to the Paddletail Newt.
Where Do Paddletail Newts Live?
Paddletail Newts inhabit mountain streams of various altitudes in Guangxi, China.
The streams can be several meters wide and about one meter deep, or they can be small trickles of water.
The water can be clear or very dirty due to flooding. These newts are mostly aquatic and hide in shelters during the day, becoming active at night.
What Is the Breeding Season for Paddletail Newts?
The breeding season for Paddletail Newts typically begins in April and lasts until July.
However, populations in Guangdong Province may breed from September to October.
Courtship and Mating
When a male Paddletail Newt senses a female, he swims toward her and tries to block her path. He then fans his tail near her snout.
If the female is interested, she moves toward the male, who deposits a spermatophore for her to pick up with her cloaca.
How Do Paddletail Newts Lay Eggs?
Females lay around 40 single eggs on the lower surface of rocks in streams. Sometimes the eggs form a patch.
The incubation period is around 2 months at a water temperature of 55.4°F to 59°F (13°C to 15°C). During this time, females protect the egg clutch and may eat dead eggs.
What Do Paddletail Newts Eat?
Paddletail Newts feed on earthworms, aquatic arthropods, and insect larvae. When captured, they may release a strong sulfurate odor or emit food from their stomach.
They also have anti-predator postures, such as stretching limbs, lifting their head and tail, and exposing their orange ventral blotches.
You can check out what this amphibian looks like over here.