Pachytriton labiatus
(Paddle-Tail Newt)
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Pachytriton labiatus (Unterstein, 1930)

Common name: Paddle-Tail Newt

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Native Range: Central and southern China (Krysko et al. 2011).

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Nonindigenous Occurrences: One specimen was collected from Broward County, Florida, in February 2010 (UF 157219) (Krysko et al. 2011).

Ecology: The Paddle-tail Newt inhabits low-gradient streams of varying sizes. It breeds in the same habitats and the larvae develop in the water.  The water can be either clear or murky as a result of flooding with a substrate of either sand or small rocks (Zhao et al. 1994 in AmphibianWeb 2012).

The species is fully aquatic. Populations in Hunan Province, China, hibernate from November till April in crevices or under boulders where water is present. The newts hide in shelters during daytime and are active at night. Pachytriton labiatus feeds on earthworms, other aquatic arthropods, and insect larvae. Anti-predator postures include stretching of limbs, lifting the head and tail, and exposing the orange ventral blotches (Zhao et al. 1994 in AmphibiaWeb, 2012; Sparreboom and Wu, 2013). The breeding season typically begins in April and lasts to July. Females lay around 40 single eggs at the lower surface of rocks in streams; sometimes the eggs are clustered to form a patch (Fei et al, 2006 in AmphibiaWeb, 2012; Sparreboom and Wu, 2013).

Means of Introduction: Pet trade. Large numbers of wild-caught animals appear in the pet trade every year. Local inhabitants may sell them as juvenile Giant Chinese Salamanders (Andrias davidianus) (Xu et al. 2002 in AmphibiaWeb, 2012).

Status: A failed introduction.

Impact of Introduction: Unknown.

Remarks: Paddletail Newts sometimes are confused with the Japanese Fire-bellied Newts (C. pyrrhogaster) and sold as such, but are much larger, more aggressive, and will eat smaller Fire-bellies if given the opportunity (Encyclopedia of Life, 2012c).

References: (click for full references)

AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. 2012. Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. Available from:

Fei, L., S. Hu, C. Ye, and Y. Huang. 2006. Fauna Sinica, Amphia, Vol. 1 Science Press, Bejing. (in Chinese)

Krysko, K.L. and 12 others. 2011. Verified non-indigenous amphibians and reptiles in Florida from 1863 through 2010: Outlining the invasion process and identifying invasion pathways and stages. Zootaxa 3028:1-64.

Sparreboom, M. and Y. Wu. 2013. Pachytriton labiatus. Salamanders of China Life Desk. Available from: Accessed 3/22/2013.

Xu, J., P.Z. Zou, C.Y. Wen, and J.R. Chen. 2002. Sexual dimorphism and female reproduction of Pachytriton labiatus in the north of Guandong. Jounral of Shaoguan University (Natural Science) 23:1-6. (in Chinese)

Zhao, X.B., L. Zeng, J.D. Zeng, and Y.S. Lei. 1994. The ecological study of Pachytriton labiatus in the north of Guangdong.

Author: Fuller, P.

Revision Date: 8/6/2013

Citation Information:
Fuller, P., 2017, Pachytriton labiatus (Unterstein, 1930): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL,, Revision Date: 8/6/2013, Access Date: 9/25/2017

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.

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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2017]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [9/25/2017].

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