Anderson's Crocodile Newt

Echinotriton andersoni

Scientific Name

Anderson's Crocodile Newt:  
Echinotriton andersoni

Distribution and Habitat

Geographic Range

Anderson’s Crocodile Newts are found on the Islands of Okinawa and Amami of Japan.

Natural Habitat

Anderson’s Crocodile Newts inhabit subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, grasslands, swamps and freshwater marshes.

Physical Characteristics

  • Anderson’s Crocodile Newts have not changed their appearance over time earning their nickname “the living fossil”. They are a flat, stout salamander with a series of 12 to 15 knob-like lateral glands. Their head is broad and triangular in shape. Their V shaped teeth are arranged in two longitudinal series, joining in the front. Their color is uniformly dark brown or black all over except the soles of the feet which are yellow-orange.Their average length is 4-6 inches with the tail shorter than the body length. Females may be 1 inch longer.

Quick Facts

  1. Since Anderson’s Crocodile Newts are extremely secretive, it is difficult to detect trends in the development of populations. Their predators are basically any animal that is larger than they are!

  2. They get their name from the bumpy ribs that look like an alligator’s back.

  3. Anderson’s Crocodile Newts lay their eggs on land; (not common for amphibians), then the larvae make their way to water after hatching!


Education Department

Conservation Status

Least Concern: The Anderson's Crocodile Newt is common or abundant and is likely to survive in the wild.

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