The Chinese fire belly newt (Cynops orientalis) is a small (2.2–4.0 inches (5.6–10.2 cm)) black newt, with bright-orange aposematic coloration on their ventral sides. C. orientalis is commonly seen in pet stores, where it is frequently confused with the Japanese fire belly newt (C. pyrrhogaster) due to similarities in size and coloration. C. orientalis typically exhibits smoother skin and a rounder tail than C. pyrrhogaster, and has less obvious parotoid glands.
Chinese fire belly newts are mildly poisonous and excrete toxins through their skin. Consisting primarily of tetrodotoxins, newts of the genus Cynops pose a medically significant threat if enough toxins are consumed.