Alpine Newt For Sale
The alpine newt, or Ichthyosaura alpestris, is a species of newt that was originally from mainland Europe but has now been imported to both the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Adults range in length from 7 to 12 centimeters (2.8 to 4.7 inches), and their typical coloration is a dark grey to blue on the back and sides, with an orange belly and neck. During mating season, males display more vibrant colors than their more subdued female counterparts.
The alpine newt is found both in the mountains and in the valleys. The adults spend the most of the year in woodland settings, but they go to puddles, ponds, lakes, or other similar water bodies in order to reproduce. To attract a mate, males perform a ritualized show and deposit a spermatophore into a female’s genital canal. Females typically conceal their fertilized eggs behind the folded leaves of aquatic plants.
The three months it takes for an aquatic larva to reach its maximum length of 5 cm (2.0 in) is followed by a transformation into a juvenile eft that lives on land and eventually becomes an adult. Newts in the southern part of their range may choose not to metamorphosis, keeping their gills and remaining aquatic until adulthood as paedomorphs. Both larvae and adults hunt on a wide variety of invertebrates, and are eaten by dragonfly larvae, big beetles, fish, snakes, birds, and mammals.
Around 20 million years ago, alpine newt populations began to split apart. There are at least four recognized subspecies, and some even contend that there are more hidden species. While alpine newts are still widely distributed, their populations are declining and several subspecies have been extinct in some areas, earning them a status of “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. Destruction of habitat, pollution, and the introduction of species like trout into breeding areas are the primary risks. The alpine newt is being exterminated from New Zealand because it threatens native amphibian populations in areas where it has been introduced.
Size-wise, the alpine newt falls somewhere in the middle. Whole length is 7-12 cm (2.8-4.7 in), with females being around 1-2 cm (0.39-0.79 in) longer than males, and weight is 1.4-6.4 g. The tail is either half as long as the rest of the body or slightly shorter due to lateral compression. Both sexes grow a tail fin and, in males, a low (up to 2.5 mm), smooth-edged crest on their backs as a result of their aquatic lifestyle. When it’s time for males to reproduce, their cloaca will enlarge. During the land phase of its life, the animal’s skin is velvety, however during the breeding season it is granular and rough.
At peak breeding season, the back and sides take on a striking dark grey to bright blue coloration. Females tend to have duller, more mottled coats with a base color that might be greenish. Orange coloring can be seen on the neck and belly, with occasional black markings. Males are easily identifiable by a white band that extends from their cheeks to their tail and is spotted black and has a light blue flash.
Their crest is white with frequent black patches throughout the breeding season. Young efts, just after they’ve undergone transformation, look like grown women on Earth, but they may have a bright red or yellow stripe running down their back. Leucistic people have only been spotted extremely infrequently.
Despite the fact that these characteristics are shared by the nominate subspecies, I. a. alpestris, the other subspecies do have some minor distinctions.
Spots of black color are common on the neck and occasionally the belly of an I. a. apuana.
Identical to the nominate subspecies save for a somewhat bigger and more rounded head, I. a. cyreni is otherwise quite similar. Female I. a. veluchiensis are distinguished from males by their greener coloring, the presence of spots on the belly, the presence of sparse dark markings on the lower tail edge, and a smaller snout, albeit these characteristics vary among subspecies.
After hatching, larvae are 7-11 mm in length, and by the time they reach 3-5 cm (1.2-2.0 in), they are ready to undergo metamorphosis. Before the development of the forelegs and subsequently the hindlegs, they have just two little filaments (balancers) between the eyes and gills on either side of the head. The larvae are a pale yellow to brown in color, with black longitudinal stripes that fade into a greater tail coloration. The tip of the tail is sharp and is occasionally a thin thread. As compared to the larvae of the smooth newt and the palmate newt, the larvae of the alpine newt are more robust and have broader heads.
Habits and Lifestyle
Semiaquatic in nature, alpine newts spend the most of the year (9-10) on land before heading back to the water for spawning. Until they reach sexual maturity, efts presumably live on Earth like us. This happens in men after about three years and in females after about four or five years at lower elevations. The life expectancy of a lowland alpine newt is 10 years. Adulthood takes an additional 9-11 years to attain at higher elevations, and the newts can live up to 30 years in total.
Diet and Nutrition
Alpine newts have a varied diet consisting primarily of invertebrates. Plankton, insect larvae like chironomids, crustaceans like ostracods or amphipods, and terrestrial insects that fall to the surface are only few of the foods consumed by aquatic larvae and adults. Also consumed are amphibian eggs and larvae, including those of the same species. The likes of worms, spiders, and woodlice are among the land-dwelling predators’ prey.
If an adult newt feels threatened, it may typically adopt a protective posture, bending backwards or lifting its tail to reveal the bright yellow of its underbelly and secreting a milky liquid. Unlike the Pacific newts (Taricha) of North America, which produce large quantities of the poison tetrodotoxin, research has shown that only minute levels of the toxin have been identified in alpine newts. Also, they occasionally make sounds, the purpose of which remains a mystery.
Sexing Your Alpine Newt
If you’re interested in purchasing one of our medium or adult sized amphibians, you’re welcome to specify a male or female newt (or a mix of the two) in your purchase; but, we cannot provide any sort of assurance regarding the sex. You may be certain, though, that an amphibian expert will make every effort to hand-pick the newt(s) you order.
Shipping Your Alpine Newt
We retain the right to postpone your purchase in the extremely unlikely event of bad weather circumstances, since we sell reptiles, amphibians, tarantulas, and scorpions responsibly online. You will be alerted through email if this happens, and it is done only for the animal’s protection.