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Newts as Pets – an Introduction to their Care and Feeding

Eastern NewtHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Although my interests are wide, newts and salamanders have always held a special fascination for me.  Beginning in childhood, I sought to keep and breed as many species as possible, and I focused on their husbandry and conservation when I entered the zoo field.  In time, I wrote a book summarizing my experiences (please see below).  The passage of so many years has not dulled my enthusiasm for these fascinating amphibians, and I can highly recommend them to both beginning and advanced herp keepers.

The following information may be applied to the care of Japanese Fire-Bellied, Eastern, California, Ribbed and Paddle-Tailed Newts, as well as most others that appear in the pet trade.  Please write in for detailed information on individual species.

Newts as Pets

An ability to thrive on commercial pellets distinguishes newts from other amphibians, and endears them to folks who prefer not to handle live insects.  All are brilliantly-colored, active by day, and usually live well in groups at average room temperatures.  Most become quite tame over time, and will even accept food from your hand.  Several California Newts in my collection have lived to age 20, and others seem bent on exceeding that. Read More »

The Best Diet for Captive Newts and Mexican Axolotls

Tritirus mamoratusHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  I usually hesitate to recommend an “all purpose” diet for any group of creatures, as even slight differences between species can be greatly affect their nutritional needs.  However, long experience with many newts has led me to a diet that works well for nearly all those that one might encounter.  The following feeding recommendations can applied to Eastern Spotted, Ribbed, Japanese Fire-Bellied, Alpine, Paddle-Tailed, Crested and Marbled Newts, as well as to Mexican Axolotls.  With a bit of fine-tuning, other species can be accommodated as well…please write in if you need further information.

Basic Diet

Newt-feeding is simplified by the fact that nearly all species will take non-living foods…this is in sharp contrast to terrestrial salamanders, which generally consume live prey only. Read More »

The Eastern Newt – the Many Subspecies and Hybrids of a Poplar Pet – Part 1

Eastern NewtHello, Frank Indiviglio here. The Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) is, in most parts of the USA, the salamander most likely to be encountered in either the wild or in pet stores.  It is a wonderful species for beginning hobbyists, yet has such a complicated life style that even long-experienced herpetologists remain interested in keeping them.

Many unusual hybrids, varying color phases and related species have found their way into captivity.  Today I’ll touch on their care and feeding; I’ll discuss some of the many types available in Part 2. Read More »

New Edition of Newts and Salamanders, A Complete Pet Owner’s Manual, is Published

Barred Tiger SalamanderHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  I’ve recently finished writing a revision of my 1997 book Newts and Salamanders and would like to introduce it here and to thank everyone for their past support and kind comments.

Care and Natural History

Although technically a captive care manual, I’ve included a great deal of natural history information garnered from a lifetime of working with amphibians as well as research updates from technical and popular journals.  Captive breeding is stressed, with specific advice given for each species covered.  Read More »

The Natural History and Captive Care of Newts – Part 1

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Newts have long been among the most popular of all amphibian pets, and with good reason.  Unlike most others, they are bold, active by day and readily accept prepared foods.  Many are easy to breed in captivity and quite long-lived…a California Newt (Taricha torosa) in my collection reached 20 years of age.  Today we’ll look at natural history and husbandry, and in part 2 I’ll cover individual species such as Eastern Red-Spotted, Fire-Bellied and California Newts. Read More »

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