AmphibiaWeb - Cynops cyanurus


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Cynops cyanurus Liu, Hu & Yang, 1962
Blue-tailed Fire-bellied Newt, Chuxiong Fire-bellied Newt
Subgenus: Cynotriton
family: Salamandridae
subfamily: Pleurodelinae
genus: Cynops
Taxonomic Notes: Placed in Hypselotriton (Hypselotriton) by Dubois and Raffaelli 2009, 2012 Alytes. Dubois and Raffaelli 2012 Alytes and Raffaelli 2013recognize yunnanensis as a valid species, but this is not followed by Chinese authors, and by Sparreboom 2014, who do not even recognize it as a subspecies.

© 2007 Henk Wallays (1 of 64)

AmphibiaChina 中国两栖类.

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (2 records).

Cynops cyanurus is a relatively small salamander, with male total length reaching up to 80 mm, and females measuring up to 100 mm. Head is flat. Snout is rounded, and edges of the mouth are located just below the tips of the eyes. Vomerine teeth are oriented in V-shape. Tongue is small but thick, and oval-shaped. Skin is relatively rough. Head, body, and tail are covered with fine grainy bumps. Venter is smooth, with thin, fine, ripple-like skin folds. Legs are long and weak. Toes overlap when limbs are adpressed to the flank (Datong and Dingqi 2008).

Dorsum is blue green or brown in coloration. The skin directly above the vertebral column and legs is brown. The upper tailfin fold is also brown, while the lower tailfin fold is a conspicuous orange color. Cloud-like orange blotches are present on the venter. There are also orange spots around the edge of the mouth and behind the eyes. In females, the region near the tip of the tail is blue with irregularly patterned black or brown spots (Datong and Dingqi 2008).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: China


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (2 records).
Found in China. Cynops cyanurus lives in Yunnan province, on the Yungui highlands (Datong and Dingqi 2008), between 1,790-2,400 m asl (Datong and Shunqing 2004). This species is found in quiet forest ponds, rice paddies, and irrigated wheat fields (Datong and Dingqi 2008).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Cynops cyanurus breeds in rice paddies, forest ponds, and artificial ponds near Kunming (Datong and Shunqing 2004). This species is quite adaptable, and is able to thrive in both drought and acidic water of pH 6.0 (Datong and Dingqi 2008).

Trends and Threats
Common on the Yunnan plateau but uncommon elsewhere. It occurs in at least one protected area, the Kunming Lake Natural Reserve (Datong and Shunqing 2004).

Relation to Humans
Collected in small numbers for the international pet trade (Datong and Shunqing 2004).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Local pesticides, fertilizers, and pollutants
Intentional mortality (over-harvesting, pet trade or collecting)


Datong, Y., and Shunqing, L. (2004). Cynops cyanurus. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 11 March 2009.

Yang, D. and Rao, D. (2008). Amphibia and Reptilia of Yunnan. Yunnan Publishing Group Corporation, Kunming.

Originally submitted by: Michael Li (first posted 2000-02-07)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2009-03-11)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2009 Cynops cyanurus: Blue-tailed Fire-bellied Newt <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 1, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 1 Mar 2024.

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