Can be found in most of southern and central Europe, living close to water amongst the leaf litter on forest floors.
Salamanders are carnivores, and fire salamanders feast on worms, slugs and insects. Very occasionally they will eat small frogs and newts.
Fire salamanders are nocturnal, and will spend their days hiding out in damp tree hollows, burrows or underneath stones where they can keep their skin moist. The striking colouring of a fire salamander warns predators of the toxic alkaloid known as Samandarin which is secreted from its skin.
Mating takes place in springtime, normally on dry land. The male salamander will rub the females chin with his head during courtship. Fertilised eggs are retained in the body to incubate in the body before the female gives birth to anything between 10 ï¿½ 80 larvae in a freshwater stream or brook. The larvae are fully formed with legs and after 4 months will leave the water. It takes a fire salamander approximately 5 years to mature.
Amphibians globally are affected by a lethal virus which affects their skin called Chrytridiomycosis. Amphibians rely on their skin to be permeable and moist, as they breath through it. This deadly fungus attacks amphibians skin and grows there, causing them to suffocate and die. Habitat destruction and pollution also affects this species.
Zoos worldwide are pouring resources into research of Chrytridiomycosis, as currently there is no cure for wild populations. Zoos are also providing disease free environments for species to breed, which is great news for the managed population. You can see many species of amphibians in the Tropical House and in Toad Hall, a newly opened exhibit that highlights the importance of amphibians to our eco-system.
- Latin Name: Salamandra salamandra
- Class: Amphibians
- Order: Caudata
- Family: Salamandridae
- Conservation Status: Least Concern
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