Japanese Giant Salamander to Headline New Honolulu Zoo Reptile and Amphibian Exhibit
November 10, 2015
If you live in Hawaii or will be visiting soon, be sure to check out the new Japanese giant salamander exhibit at the Honolulu Zoo. The zoo received four Japanese giant salamanders (Andrias japonicus) from its sister zoo in Japan, the Asa Zoo.
Japanese giant salamanders are listed as near threatened by the IUCN.
“We’re going to have lovely exhibit, it will mimic their environment which is a fast flowing cool japanese river. So they will probably have a little waterfall with some rapids and a nice big pool in which salamanders can live,” Honolulu Zoo animal keeper Rebecca Shoquette told KHON TV. The salamanders will be the main attraction for the new reptile and amphibian exhibit that will open later this year.
Japanese giant salamanders are known as Ōsanshōuo in Japanese, which translates to giant pepper fish. They can grow up to five feet in length and are the second largest salamander in the world. They can be found on Kyushu, Honshu, and Shikoku islands.
The Chinese giant salamander (A. davidianus) is the largest in the world.
The amphibian is listed as near threatened by the IUCN due to pollution and habitat loss. They were once a food source for people which also detrimentally affected their populations but hunting of them has stopped due to protections.
John Virata keeps a western hognose snake, a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased for $5. His first pet reptile was a green anole that arrived in a small box via mail order. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata