What do newts eat? This article focuses on the diet and housing requirements for your pet newts.
A newt is a salamander of the subfamily Pleurodelinae. It is also called an eft in its terrestrial and younger mode. Newts could be semi-aquatic or permanent water dwellers. Newts can be found in certain regions of Asia, Europe and North America. There are more than 100 species of newts and they all share a common 3-stage life cycle. They all undergo through aquatic larva, terrestrial juvenile (eft) and then finally, adult. Adult newts have lizard-like appearances and return to the water annually in order to breed. Other than this, newts live in humid, cover-rich land territories. Newts are currently being threatened by pollution, fragmentation and habitat loss. A lot of species are endangered, and one species, the Yunnan lake newt, has been tagged as extinct recently. We know now where do newts live, what do newts look like and what do newts turn into. It is time to know what do newts eat.
What Do Newts Eat In Captivity?
What do newts eat in the wild is related to what do newts eat in captivity. A lot of newt species eat different kinds of food and can change their diet in order to live with food sources which are available. They are going to eat insects, crustaceans, mollusks and worms. A lot of species are also going to eat tadpoles, frog eggs and even small frogs. A few other favorite foods include fish eggs, young amphibians and small/immature fish and some species could be even cannibalistic (meaning, they eat other newts). Newts that live on land eat similar food, but they also eat land dwelling insects such as ants. Smaller species are famous for eating plankton as well as other kinds of smaller prey like insect larvae such as mosquito larvae.
If you want to keep newts as pets, the best food sources for your newt and what do newts eat will depend on the species but it is best that you keep it as close to their natural diet as possible. Of course, we all know that an aquatic newt could be quite happy with dead insects, reptile pellets/sticks, brine shrimp, frozen fish and even fish food because keeping newt diet as wild as possible could prove to be very difficult. Bigger aquatic newts could be fed with live feeder fish. However, a land newt might be a lot happier with live worms and insects. The newts usually like live food, but could sometimes be trained to eat dead food. Mealworms are also good choices but they do not give all the needed nutrition of a newt. As already hinted, regardless if the newt is water or land dwelling, newts are going to feed on insects and worms because this is commonly what do newts eat. Any pet store that sells lizards should have newt food available.
Tips for Taking Care of Newts
Newts are generally kept in aquariums if they are to be kept as pets. This is especially true for needley, comb and common newts. When you keep them as pets, it is first and foremost, very important to copy their natural environment. If they are on land, they normally hide under rocks, logs, stones, compost heaps and areas which are damp and dark. In ponds, they hide in dense weeds as well as vegetation patches below the water. It is also important to know about their feeding behavior. There are two patterns when they seek prey, passive and active. Actively, they hunt and seek their food. Passively, they just sit and wait in classic ambush fashion. A different strategy would be, if it moves then eat it. Adults are going to eat whatever prey they could swallow and they are bad at judging the meal size in question. Newts have been seen with big earthworms, bigger than themselves, struggling and wrestling with them in their mouths.
- The right kind of aquarium that newts need would be one that could handle 38 L, but a bigger aquarium or tank would be better. Don’t try for anything smaller. Try getting two newts, particularly a male and female.
- Make the right water and land ratio in your aquarium. Even if adult newts are aquatic, they are not 100% aquatic. The correct ratio is 70% water and 30% land.
- Make sure that the water is 10 inches deep. The newt has to be able to move around while it is submerged completely under the water. Also, make sure that the water you place inside the aquarium is chlorine free.
- Place gravel in the tank, around two inches thick. Try using large, round and smooth stones for gravel. Your newt will not be able to eat them and not sharp as to cut your newt’s feet.
- Handle your newt carefully and properly. If you hold your newts a lot, make sure that you wash them well with soap and rinse them well, making sure that all the soap is off your hands.
- Regularly clean the tank for your newt. A clean tank keeps your newt healthy and helps it live longer. Make sure that your tank has to be fully cleaned every one to two weeks. Before you clean the newt, take out everything in the cage, such as gravel as well as all decorations. Clean the walls of the tank and then refill it with clean water before you replace everything that you have taken out.
Interesting Facts About Newts
- A certain species of newts defends itself using movable ribs. Spanish ribbed newts can surprise their wannabe predators by moving their ribs forward so that they can break through the skin which then creates protective spikes. The ribs that break through are coated with poison that is coated simultaneously. You do not want these newts to be your pets.
- During medieval times, in Europe, newts have been associated with evil spirits.
- Some newts could grow their eye lenses at least 18 times.
- Some newts can metamorphose two times.
- Newts make noises that can barely be heard.