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FAQs About Newts & Salamanders, Amphibians with tails...: Efts; Juvenile Newts

Related Articles: Amphibians, Turtles

Related FAQs: Newts & Salamanders, Amphibians 1, Amphibians 2,

& FAQs by Groups/Species: Axolotls, Efts, Fire Belly Newts, Hellbenders, Tiger Salamanders, Water Dogs, & African Dwarf Frogs, African Clawed Frogs, Rubber Eels/CaeciliansAmphibian Identification, Amphibian Behavior, Amphibian Compatibility, Amphibian Selection, Amphibian Systems, Amphibian Feeding, Amphibian Disease, Amphibian Reproduction,


Newt troubles     4/3/19
I have a eastern red spotted newt.. had him for months and he was thriving.. checked him today and his tail looks like its rotten or burnt not sure, I cant find anything on it and I'm freaking out please help!
<Newts are generally pretty tough, but they can be subject to bacterial infections similar to Red Leg as seen in frogs. Assuming this is Notophthalmus viridescens, one problem you have is that there are aquatic tadpoles, terrestrial (bright red) "Efts", and then once more aquatic sexually mature (and duller brown) adults. If yours are in their aquatic stage, then treatment will be quite simple, as per Xenopus or some other aquatic amphibian, as described here:
Treat as per Red Leg and you're probably doing the best you can. The terrestrial "Efts" are going to be trickier to medicate because they're not bathed in the antibiotic, so you'd have to feed it to them. I'd recommend a vet if that's the situation here. Cheers, Neale.>

My possibly sick red-spotted eft... Newt care     -- 06/12/09
Hello! I found and kept a red spotted eft the other day while hiking.
<You really shouldn't do this... there are plenty of neat amphibians bred in captivity that are a lot easier to keep.>
I did a lot of research about habitat and diet, etc. Ended up putting him in a 10 gallon tank with dirt and lots of plants. He also has a water bowl. The problem is, I don't think he's been eating, although its hard to
tell because his food moves around a lot :) I've tried meal worms, baby crickets, and a newt pellet food.
<Pellet foods won't be taken, that much is certain. I'd start with small earthworms; most amphibians find these very palatable. Choose earthworms that are small enough to swallow whole, and initially, the smaller the better. You could try holding the earthworms with forceps in front of the newt to see if he goes for them. It's also important to realise that they feed a good deal under water, so rather than a water bowl, arrange the tank so it is two-thirds filled with water, but with a land area above the waterline filled with moss or coir (coconut fibre; cheap and easy to change when dirty). You can get nice little plastic islands for terrapins/turtles that "stick" onto the glass via suckers, and these are great way to make land areas. Otherwise a pile of bogwood branches and/or rocks will do the trick, though obviously you can't put moss or coir on these because it'll just fall into the water and make a mess. Anyway, the newt will happily eat
bloodworms, daphnia and other small live foods added to the water. Use an air-powered sponge filter to prevent the water becoming dirty and harming the newt, and change 25% per week, adding dechlorinated water each time. Keep it cool, certainly no warmer than 20 C in summer, and a good deal less in winter.>
Also, he looks kind of brownish instead of his normal bright orange and he seems quite lethargic. Do you think he is sick and if so, what should I do to help him? Thanks!
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: My possibly sick red-spotted eft -- 6/12/09
Ok, thanks for your help! I think I'm going to set him free so he can be happier.
<Hmm... if he's come into contact with any ornamental fish, pet newts, or any other aquatic animals, do not let this animal loose! If the nets, buckets or anything you used were also used in an aquarium, pond, or
vivarium, you mustn't release this animal. That's how diseases and parasites of pet animals get into the wild. It's very important not to be lazy and just let pet animals go free. So if you can't honestly be sure this newt was isolated from all other aquatic pets, then think before releasing the animal. If you can't keep it, either consult your local Fish & Wildlife Bureau for advice, or if they can't help, painlessly destroy the animal (a vet will provide you with information on euthanising amphibians if you ask). And yes, it's much easier for all concerned not to bring wild animals into the home, however cute or attractive they might seem. Sorry to
make this all sound complicated, but there are a lot of irresponsible people out there who have caused MAJOR damage to the environment by thoughtlessly releasing pet animals or wild animals that have been kept alongside pet animals. Please don't join their ranks! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: My possibly sick red-spotted eft -- 6/12/09
True. I've never had any other fish, newts, amphibians, etc as pets, though. And I bought the tank he's in new from the pet store.
<Good, this all means you can release your newt with a clean conscience!
Well done. Cheers, Neale.>

Help with Sick Eft! -- 03/18/08 Hi folks. Wonderful site you have. It's a great resource for all us avid pet owners. <Thank you> I have a question for you regarding my pet red eft. I'm worried that he might be sick. I've had him for almost a year, and he was quite active and happy until several weeks ago. He has always been quite a shed-er, sloughing layers of skin regularly. But recently he has seemed unable to get all the skin off, and it has turned black in the patches he can't remove. The black covered his tail and his hind toes. The tail part has now been partially removed, but his skin underneath is wet and weeping, and many pieces remain. His toes are now gummed up with black skin. And he has become very inactive, preferring to hide all the time, and I haven't seen him eat or go for a swim in his pond in these past weeks. He seems uninterested. He's also weak; I take him out to play and he has very little energy. He has also dulled in color considerably; in the two photos I've attached, perhaps you can make out the dull brownish on his head and spine. He used to be far brighter. Do you have any ideas about what this could be, and what a treatment plan might look like? Thanks so much for your help. Yours, Reed Black <This may be due to some dietary deficiency and/or water quality issue... Amphibians are quite sensitive to both issues... Please place the following term "Notophthalmus v. viridescens husbandry" in your search tool and read... esp. on Caudata.org re. Bob Fenner>

<It appears you have a good terrestrial environment. Is the aquatic one made with pre-treated, stored water? What do you feed? BobF>

Re: Again: Help with Sick Eft! Thank you. For the water, all I'm doing is adding a couple drops of "Reptisafe" water conditioner to new York city tap water -- should I be doing more? <I would... treat and store the to-be used water. Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmaintindex.htm  the second tray...> I feed with black worms only. I've tried wax worms and baby crickets, but both are too large! I also tried brine shrimp but he didn't seem interested. Any other ideas? <Again, the Net... I kept small Salamanders and Newts as a lad... but can't recall much re their care... I do endorse the use of vitamin prep.s, baby types as liquids or commercial ones labeled for such use> Thanks so much for the quick response. Yours, Reed Black <And yours, Bob Fenner>

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