The warty newts are mountain stream dwellers,
sometimes also found on land, found at low to moderate elevation in mountain
stream pools of eastern and southern China. At present, P.caudopunctatus,
P.hongkongensis are recognized. An additional giant species has been
reported, and P.fuzhongensis has two main variants, possibly species
P.fuzhongensis has been considered a variant or subspecies
of P.chinensis, and
P.guangxiensis of P.deloustali. The most recent discovery is the very striking and highly aquatic P.laoensis, from three localities in Laos, a considerable range extension for both the genus, and for Asian salamanders. Both this species and P.caudopunctatus have similarities with Pachytriton, and a separate genus or subgenus, Allomesotriton has been suggested for the latter.
While the one Vietnamese species is protected and the Laos species only recently found, all others are at least occasionally
available through the pet trade. There are reportedly three salamanders from Vietnam awaiting description, presumably at least one a Paramesotriton, and the others Tylototriton/Echinotriton.
Until recently, only a single species of Chinese
torrent newt was recognized, P.brevipes. It was discovered that
two distinct species were involved, the second being the smaller P.labiatus(now suspected to be a complex of more than one species).
Additionally, no less than four unknown species have appeared in the pet
trade. Three have been designated sp.A, B and C. The third, with rough skin,
may be identical to Pachytriton granulosus, also called Pingia granulosa. I briefly kept some of these rough-skinned specimens, which resembled
caudopunctatus. The young are also strikingly similar to young Paramesotriton. Little data are available, but apparently all are designed
for life in rocky mountain torrents at mid to high altitude, where they
feed on invertebrates and stream dwelling tadpoles.
Crocodile salamanders are tropical evergreen and
deciduous forest dwellers, but details on their various habits and habitats
are needed, since they have abroad distribution across the east Asian mountains.
Other than T.taliangensis, each is likely to consist of more than
one species. The present taxa are T.kweichowensis, T.shanjing, T.taliangensis,
T.verrucosus, T.asperrimus, T.wenxianensis, and T.hainanensis. T.asperrimus (formerly including T.hainanensis and T.wenxianensis) occurs in Guangdong, Guangxi, and Guizhou China, and northern Vietnam, T.wenxianensis in southern Gansu and northwestern Sichuan China, and T.hainanensis in Hainan (all sometimes treated as Tylototriton asperrimus). Echinotriton
is often placed as a subgenus of Tylototriton, often including the last three species above.
Spiny Crocodile salamanders are known from Taiwan,
Ryukyu Islands of Japan, and extreme eastern China. As their names suggest,
they are spiky, warty versions of Tylototriton, dwelling in dry
tropical forests. E.chinhaiensis is known from eastern China, E.andersoni
from the Ryukyus with two regional variants, and rare specimens also from
northern Taiwan. Taiwan and Hainan seem to be home to distinct populations
or species related to others found on mainland China or in the Ryukyus,
or in northern Vietnam. A nice example of this is the leopard geckos Goniurosaurus,
with five species through the Ryukyus, three split between Vietnam and Guangxi, and three more in Hainan.
Firebelly Newts, Cynops
Firebelly newts are pond, paddy and lake dwellers, some spending a great
deal of time on land. Chinese
species may warrant placement in a separate genus, Hypselotriton,
from Japanese species, and perhaps an
additional genus besides. The east Chinese species include
and C.orphicus, the west Chinese