Zoo Animals

Emperor Spotted Newt

Emperor spotted newt

Neurergus kaiseri

At the Detroit Zoo

The emperor spotted newt is a shy and skittish creature that hides during the day and becomes more active after dusk. Unlike other amphibians, this hardy newt spends the majority of its time on land. It usually only enters the water to breed, during which time it becomes more bold and outgoing. It can be seen at the award-winning National Amphibian Conservation Center – a leader in amphibian conservation and research – which houses a spectacular diversity of frogs, toads, salamanders, newts and caecilians.


The smallest of its genus, the emperor spotted newt has a distinctive, bold look that varies based on the individual. Its skin is a patchwork of black and white with a narrow, bright orange-red dorsal stripe. An emperor spotted newt’s belly and legs are often whitish or orange-red and may also have black patches.

Fun Facts

  • In the wild, the emperor spotted newt is known to only live in four specific streams in Iran.

  • This particular newt species uses powerful pheromones for mating. The male will waft his pheromones towards the female with his tail in what looks like a dance. The female will then chase after him as if playing tag.