Tylototriton shanjing
Yunnan Newt
Subgenus: Tylototriton
family: Salamandridae
subfamily: Pleurodelinae
Species Description: Nussbaum, R. A., Brodie, Jr., E. D., Yang, D. 1995. A Taxonomic Review of Tylototriton verrucosus Anderson (Amphibia: Caudata: Salamandridae). Herpetologica, 51(3): pp. 257-268.

© 2005 Henk Wallays (1 of 58)

AmphibiaChina 中国两栖类.

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Near Threatened (NT)
CITES Appendix II
Other International Status None
National Status No special protection
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

This rough-skinned newt has distinct bony ridges on the sides of the top of the head. The body is a dark brownish-black color with orange or yellow pigment on the head (including parotoid glands), vertebral ridge, and dorso-lateral body warts. Most of the venter, tail, and limbs is also orange-yellow in color.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: China


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
This newt is known only from the western Yunnan province in the People's Republic of China in the mountains along the Nu, Lancang, and Yuan rivers (Zhao 1998; Nussbaum et al. 1995).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Breeding occurs between May and August, and the eggs are deposited singly or in strings on aquatic plants in ponds or pools (Zhao 1998). This newt is completely terrestrial in the non-breeding season (Zhao 1998).

Trends and Threats
Newt populations are often threatened by human consumption (see "Relation to Humans" section), but are also increasingly threatened by the habitat destruction inflicted by growing human populations (Zhao 1998).

Relation to Humans
Tylototriton shanjing has a close associations with humans. It is regularly caught and dried for medicinal usage, and because of its beautiful coloration patterns, it is commonly sold in the pet trade industry.

The etymology of the name is derived from the Mandarin "shan" (mountain) and "jing" (spirit or demon). This species was described and removed from T. verrucosus (the Burmese Newt) (Nussbaum et al. 1995). Tylototriton verrucosus has protected status but T. shanjing does not, though it has been proposed by Zhao (1998).

The taxonomic status of Tylototriton shanjing has recently been disputed. Zhang et al. (2007) recommended that T. shanjing be considered a synonym of T. verrucosus, on the basis of similarity in Cyt b. However, only a single sample of T. verrucosus was analyzed, from China; no samples were included from other parts of the range (India, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Burma, Viet Nam, and probably Laos and Bhutan). In addition, Ziegler et al (2008) report that T. shanjing breeds true in captivity. Until a more thorough analysis of T. verrucosus is undertaken, the systematic decision to remove shanjing must be considered premature. (For an English translation of Zhang et al., e-mail Jennifer Macke,


Nussbaum, R. A., Brodie, E. D., Jr., and Datong, Y. (1995). ''A taxonomic review of Tylototriton verrucosus Anderson (Amphibia: Caudata: Salamandridae).'' Herpetologica, 51(3), 257-268.

Zhang, M., Rao, D., Yu, G., and Yang, J. (2007). ''The validity of Red Knobby Newt (Tylototriton shanjing) species status based on mitochondrial Cyt b gene.'' Zoological Research, 28(4), 430-436.

Zhao, E. (1998). China Red Data Book of Endangered Animals: Amphibia and Reptilia. Science Press: Endangered Species Scientific Commission, P.R.C., Beijing.

Ziegler, T., Hartmann, T., Van der Straeten, K., Karbe, D., and Böhme, W. (2008). ''Captive breeding and larval morphology of Tylototriton shanjing Nussbaum, Brodie and Yang, 1995, with an updated key of the genus Tylototriton (Amphibia: Salamandridae).'' Der Zoologische Garten, 77, 246-260.

Written by Meredith Mahoney and Vance Vredenburg (vancev AT, UC Berkeley
First submitted 1999-04-06
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2008-04-18)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Tylototriton shanjing: Yunnan Newt <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Sep 21, 2020.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2020. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 21 Sep 2020.

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