Salamandra Species & Subspecies Guide

By William Jones

The genus Salamandra consists of 6 species, 4 of which have defined subspecies. Additional information about these salamanders and their care in captivity can be found in the Salamandra caresheet. This guide has been created to show the wide range of appearance and geographical distribution among members of the genus. This document should not be used as an identification guide, because many subspecies and species have high levels of variation between populations and even among different animals within the same population (Salamandra salamandra bernardezi is a textbook example of a subspecies with high variability among individual animals). The range maps give a rough indication of where each species/subspecies lives, but should not be used as an exact guide. Some subspecies have links to photos of "other forms", but many additional subspecies have other forms not shown. If there are any errors, please contact the author using the Contact page for this website.




Salamandra salamandra salamandra

Nominate subspecies.

(Linneaus, 1758)

Balkan penninsula, the Carpathians, eastern Germany, northern Italy, and southeastern France.

range map

Salamandra salamandra salamandra

S. s. alfredschmidti

Spain: Tendi Valley.range map

Salamandra salamandra alfredschmidti

S. s. almanzoris

(Müller and Hellmich, 1935)

Former glaciers of Gredos. (Laguna Grande de Gredos, Sierra de Gredos). The salamanders of the Penalara lagoon in Madrid show similar charactaristics.

range map

Salamandra salamandra almanzoris

S. s. bejarae

(Mertens and Müller, 1940)


Central mountain ranges of the Spanish peninsula, (except in the highest points of the Sierra de Gredos, and in the mountain ranges of Toledo).

range map

Salamandra salamandra bejarae

S. s. bernardezi

(Gasser, 1978)



Other forms: Lined, yellow

Asturias, northern and eastern Galicia.

range map

Salamandra salamandra bernardezi

S. s. beschkovi

(Obst, 1981)


Pirin mountains, Bulgaria.

range map

Salamandra salamandra beschkovi

S. s. crespoi

(Malkmus, 1983)

Portugese Algarve.

range map

Salamandra salamandra crespoi

S. s. fastuosa

(Eiselt, 1958)

S. s. "bonnali". Now considered to be synonymous with S. s. fastuosa.

Cantabria, the Basque region, northern Navarre, western and central Pyrenees.

range map

Salamandra salamandra fastuosa

S. s. gallaica

(Nikolskii, 1918)

Variant coloration: Coimbra Portugal.

Portugal, except the extreme south. Parts of Galicia, Leon, Cantabrian mountains, and Catalonia.

range map

Salamandra salamandra gallaica

S. s. gigliolii

(Eiselt and Lanza, 1956)

South central and southern Italy.

range map

Salamandra salamandra gigliolii

S. s. hispanica

(Mertens and Muller, 1940)

The validity of this subspecies is questionable. May be synonymous with S. s. terrestris.

Montseny Province of Barcelona.

range map

Salamandra salamandra hispanica

S. s. longirostris

(Joger and Steinfartz, 1994)

Spain: Malaga and Cadiz provinces (Sierra de Ronda).

range map

Salamandra salamandra longirostris

S. s. morenica

(Joger and Steinfartz, 1994)

Spain: Sierra Morenica.

range map

Salamandra salamandra morenica

S. s. terrestris

(Eiselt, 1958)

Other forms: melanistic, erythristic, albino, high-yellow, orange.

Most of France, northern and central Europe.

range map

Salamandra salamandra terrestris

S. s. werneri

(Sochurek and Gayda, 1941)

Greece: Mount Pelion.

range map

Salamandra salamandra werneri

Salamandra algira algira

Nominate subspecies.

(Nikolskii, 1918)

Morocco and Algeria.

range map

Salamandra algira algira

S. algira tingitana

(Donaire Barroso and Bogaerts, 2003)


Specimens from Ceuta produce juviparous young, and melanistic specimens occur frequently. Examples from the Middle Atlas mountains produce larvae.

range map

no image available

Salamandra  corsica

(Veith, 1996)


range map

Salamandra corsica

Salamandra infraimmaculata infraimmaculata

Nominate subspecies.

(Joger and Steinfartz, 1995)

Southern Israel to southern Turkey.

range map

Salamandra infraimmaculata infraimmaculata

S. i. orientalis

(Joger and Steinfartz, 1995)

Southern,central and eastern Turkey.

range map

Salamandra infraimmaculata orientalis

S. i. semenovi

(Joger and Steinfartz, 1995)


Kurdistan and Zagros Mountains. 

range map

Salamandra infraimmaculata semenovi

Salamandra lanzai

(Nascetti, Andreone, Capula, and Bullini, 1988)

Italian western Alps.

range map

Salamandra lanzai

Salamandra atra atra

Nominate subspecies.

(Miksic, 1969)

Alps and Dinaric Alps.

range map

Salamandra atra atra

S. atra aurorae

(Trevisan, 1982)

Asiago plateau, Italian Pre-Dolomites.

range map

Salamandra atra aurorae

S. atra pasubiensis

(Bonato 2005)

Mt. Pasubio and surrounding areas in the Venitian Alps of Italy

range map

Salamandra atra pasubiensis



Special thanks to Mike East for providing photographs and for adding and correcting the information in this guide.

References and Additional Information

AG Urodela, Registry for Genus Salamandra.

American Museum of Natural History: Amphibian species of the world 3.0, An online reference.

AmphibiaWeb Digital Library Project: University of California, Berkeley. Species accounts for Salamandridae.

Bonato, L and Steinfartz, S. Evolution of the melanistic colour in the Alpine salamander Salamandra atra as revealed by a new subspecies from the Venetian Prealps. Italian Journal of Zoology, 72: 253 - 260 (2005)

Clare. 2002. Caudata Culture Species Database Entry for Salamandra.

García-París, Alcombendas, Buckley and Wake. 2003. Dispersal of viviparity across contact zones in Iberian populations of fire salamanders (salamandra) inferred from discordance of genetic and morphological traits. Evolution 57:129.

Mazzei. Amphibians and Reptiles of Europe.

Schantz. Fire Salamander Website - Gallery. [no longer available]

Schultschik. Current Systematics of the genus Salamandra. [no longer available]

Written June 2005

©2005 William Jones. Photos are © as indicated, and are used with permission.


All Caudata Culture content is Copyright © 2000-. Various copyright holders; see volunteer page for details.
All rights reserved.
Use of site content without written agreement is forbidden. This site is covered by US Law and international treaties.