HomeSharp Ribbed Newt Care Sheet

Sharp Ribbed Newt care sheet


Sharp ribbed newts do well with a glass terrarium as their enclosure. This is because glass is great at allowing heat to escape ensuring that the enclosure stays cool enough. Other enclosures such as wooden vivariums are far too efficient at retaining heat.

The sharp ribbed newt's vivarium should be at least 450mm in length while they are young, 600mm when they are older and 300mm in height. The sharp ribbed newt is going to grow to around 8-12" so they need a space large enough for them to move around in.


Sharp ribbed newts require a near constant air temperature of 75oF. This is best achieved by sticking a heatmat on one side of the glass enclosure. This heatmat is regulated using a thermostat to make sure the temperature stays constant.

As the glass is only being heated on one side this also creates a small temperature gradient within the enclosure allowing the newt to warm itself up or move away to cool down. We would usually build up one side of the enclosure as a land side and this is the side we would keep warm.

If the enclosure is not able to get up to temperature with the heat mat alone a small basking bulb may be implemented in the canopy as long as the temperatures do not exceed 75oF.


Sharp ribbed newts are an aquatic newt and should be allowed areas to swim in. These should be deep enough for the newt to fully sumberge but should include shallow areas for the newt to rest and climb out.

Some areas can be raised up above the water level as long as they remain moist. Pebbles and moss are great for creating raised areas that remain saturated.

The newts vivarium can be decorated with artificial plants for a more natural look. Natural wood ornaments look very effective and also provide further perches for the newts. Trailing plants are very good at disguising electrical wires and equipment, as well as providing cover for young amphibians.

If the body of water is quite large we would advise using a small filter to keep the water clean and to move it around to prevent stagnation.

Diet & Water

Sharp ribbed newts are carnivorous and have a diet consisting of mainly livefoods. The core of the livefood diet should be high in protein and relatively easy to digest. We have found that brown crickets are the most readily accepted, but you can also use black crickets or locusts (hoppers). They can also be fed aquatic livefoods. Firm favourites would be bloodworm and tubifex, we would advise separating the livefood from it's water before feeding to the newt.