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What is an emperor newt?

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Quick Answer

An emperor newt is a rough-skinned amphibian from China with orange or yellow stripes running along its sides. It was once considered a variety of the Himalayan newt, but was given species status in 1995.

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The main body of the newt is dark brown to black, and some individuals have dull striping that gives them an overall brown appearance. Others have very bright, contrasting coloration. The stripes mark out the bony protrusions and warts which run parallel to the animal's spine.

The native range of emperor newts is restricted to mountainous terrain near the Nu, Lancang, and Yuan rivers of the Yunnan Province. They are used in traditional Chinese medicine. They are also sold in the pet trade and affected by habitat loss due to development.

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