Newts are one of a few types of salamanders, and they make wonderful pets. You can tell the difference between male and female newts by observing their physical characteristics, although the specific traits vary by species of newt. Most newts hatch from eggs as larvae, and you won't be able to determine the sex of the newts until they reach adulthood. Unless you have multiple newts you are breeding or you're trying to avoid breeding, the sex of your newt may not make much difference.
Male vs. female newt
There are not any rules for determining the sex of a newt that applies to all species. In addition, some species do not have physical differences that you can visually identify. However, there are some general rules that apply in many cases. You may need to have two newts of a similar age to compare in order to recognize these characteristics.
Video of the Day
Newts have a cloaca, or rear opening, for the digestive and reproductive tracts. In most species, the cloaca of the male is larger than that of the female. Female newts tend to have larger, plumper bodies. This characteristic can be deceptive if you aren't comparing newts that are the same age.
Only a female newt can lay eggs. If you are able to observe the newt laying eggs, this is a conclusive way to confirm your newt's gender.
Sexing eastern newts
The eastern, or red-spotted, newt is a popular pet newt, but they can be challenging for beginning amphibian owners. This is because at each stage of life — larvae, eft, and adult — the newts need a different habitat. As adults, there are some physical differences you can observe to determine the sex of your newt.
Male newts have thicker hind legs than females. Additional differences are only apparent during the breeding season. At this time, males have a larger cloaca and tailfins that extend in front of the hind legs. The female's tailfins extend to behind the hindlegs. Males also have rough, black nubbed toes and ridges on their inner thighs.
Sexing fire belly newts
The fire belly newt is a semiaquatic species from Japan. Although they only grow to about 5 inches long, when keeping these newts as pets, they will need a tank large enough to accommodate both land and water conditions.
You can differentiate the sexes by examining the newt's toes. Males will have longer toes than females. During the breeding season, the skin of the male newts may develop gray or blue highlights. These are especially apparent on the tail.
Male vs. female California newt
The California newt is a large species that grows up to 8 inches long. It is native to the state of California. The California newt is yellowish to dark brown with a yellow or orange underside. There aren't physical differences to observe between the sexes, although females tend to be larger in size.
Tylototriton newt species
There are some ways to identify the differences between male and female mandarin, crocodile, and Kweichow newts (Tylototriton spp.). Females newts have longer bodies and weigh more than male newts. When you examine the cloaca of the newt, you will see that on the male, the cloaca will be larger when compared to the size of the newt's body. In addition, the front legs are positioned wider apart.