The Sword-tailed newt (Cynops ensicauda) is an endangered species found on the main islands of Okinawa an Amami. It is currently listed endangered on the IUCN red list of threatened species. This amphibian is decreasing in numbers due to deforestation and road kill.
- Scientific name: Cynops ensicauda
- Distribution: Okinawa and Anami Islands
- Habitat: Forests, wetlands and fresh water streams
- Diet: Amphibian eggs, tadpoles, snails, worms and insects
- Average size: 100-180mm
They all have bright orange bellies, which serve as a warning sign to predators that they are poisonous. When threatened they produce a transparent skin toxin.
- Poisonous animals are toxic if you eat them or ingest their secretions. Irritations may occur after handling these newts if you have open wounds. Avoid rubbing your eyes or placing your hands in your mouth.
Photographed on a white field studio board for the Meet your neighbours global biodiversity project (MYN). All images are used for conservation awareness and educational purposes.
The newt photographed in its natural habitat.
The Sword- tailed newt is often found crossing the road on rainy days in northern Okinawa. The government has designed specialized wildlife steps for animals that get trapped in road side drainage ditches. These steps allow the newts to crawl out safely.
Pay attention to crossing wildlife
Lets protect the wildlife of Okinawa!