...but i got better", will be forever the catchphrase that springs to mind whenever I see these adorable creatures.
The Hong Kong warty newt or Hong Kong newt (Paramesotriton hongkongensis) is the only species of salamander (also known as the "tailed amphibian"), found in Hong Kong.
Previously thought to be endemic to the territory, the species has also been found in the coastal parts of Guangdong Province.
Here a breeding male shows his spectacular tummy!
Newts Should Be Handled with Care
Firstly, they are small living creatures, so try and avoid handling them at all.
I have read reports that newts can secrete a substance, like a skin toxin, that can be extremely irritating, but the toxin is not absorbed through your skin, but can be absorbed through open sores or cuts on the skin, the eyes, mucous membranes (lining of the nose, mouth, etc.), and from the digestive tract.
Of course, newts should never be placed in your mouth or swallowed. This is obvious, but it has happened (there has been at least one case report where a child bit a newt's tail, and a couple of cases where adults swallowed newts after excessive alcohol consumption). Because the toxin is so irritating, swallowing a newt would at least make you violently ill. There has been at least one case of a human death following ingestion of the more toxic rough skinned newt. so you are warned....you may not turn into one....but.........
Here someone happily ignores my warning of impending doom and irritation.
Ps no animals were harmed in the making of this blog post, and thank you to wranglers Sally and Adam, who recovered fully after a beer.