These small newts are black with bright-orange coloration on their ventral sides which they use to ward off predators in the wild. They are commonly seen in pet stores and frequently confused with the Japanese fire belly newt (C. pyrrhogaster). They can reach lengths of up to six inches, and have bright red bellies. Chinese fire belly newts are mildly poisonous and excrete toxins through their skin. When searching for a pet fire belly it is best to look for local breeders, or individuals giving their pets away; this helps to reduce the demand for wild-caught specimens that are often poorly handled and/or diseased.