300

Chinhai Spiny Newt

East Asia

300

Echinotriton chinhaiensis

Endangered

  • Habitat destruction
  • Pollution of its breeding ponds

The Chinhai Spiny Newt is an endemic salamander species to Ningbo City in the Zhejiang province of China. This land-dwelling semi-aquatic amphibian lives in freshwater ponds and marshes within temperate forests. Its carnivorous diet consists of small invertebrates, amphibian eggs, aquatic insects, or anything that they can find while swimming or foraging on ground surfaces.

During winter season, it hibernates for about five months. Sexual maturity is after 10 years of age and can live for more than 20 years in its natural environment. It is characterised as having a flattened body and head with sharp, elongated ribs and 12 highly conspicuous knob-like glands. Like other newts that are toxic to touch, painful secretions come out of its enlarged glands when threatened by predators.

Due to human settlements and forestry activities, its main habitat has been significantly disturbed, polluted, and damaged. Road constructions as well as cultivation of orange orchards and tea plantations made the breeding ponds unsuitable for larvae development.