View Full Version : Feeding Larvae?

27th November 2004, 20:34
Hi. I recently bought a fire salamander and I think shes about to pop. Will she know to give birth to the larvae in the water dish i have provided or should I go about it another way? Once the larvae are out and i have them in a pool of spring water and maybe some plants, what should I give them to eat? Many thanks guys.


27th November 2004, 22:39
What subspecies is your fire salamander?

28th November 2004, 01:50
Hi Bob, welcome to the 'club'.
Your new acquisition may not have settled enough in her new home, and could possibly have her young on 'terra firma', assuming of course that she is a subspecies that does produce larvae, and not terrestrial young.
The method that I adopt with heavily gravid fire salamanders is to place them in a large plastic container, measuring approximately 24" x 15" x 6" high, with a well ventilated, close fitting lid. The substrate is gravel or 'hortag' to a depth of 1", with a cork bark hide.
The box is then propped up, so that when water is added a shallow puddle is created at one end. If the female should produce on the gravel, the young will usually be able to make their way into the water.
Take a look at the Species 'caresheet' here:
I feed the larvae a mix of daphnia, bloodworm, whiteworm, and chopped earthworms.
Here's a link on microfoods for caudate larvae:

29th November 2004, 18:46
Thanks guys for the help. The species is Salamandra Salamandra Salamandra from Asia according to the reptile shop owner. He says to separate the larvae from each other as he is concerned that they will eat each other. In your opinion is this likely to happen if the larvae are fed well?

29th November 2004, 20:49
Mike is the one who has experience breeding salamandra but i believe they don't produce a large amount of larvae. I have known other species nip at each other but in my experience they only eat each other when there is a big size difference. With other species i have separated them into a few small containers,putting similar sizes together.Well fed larvae (again in my experience) don't pose that much of a problem to each other. I also use the same foods as Mike for rearing. Hopefully Mike will step in and tell you all you need to know!

Good luck!

30th November 2004, 01:04
It's not unusual for S.s.s. from Europe, to produce large numbers of larvae. A S.s.gallaica, last week deposited 77 at one 'sitting' for me.http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/happy.gif
They most definitely do have cannibalistic tendencies, and you could find individuals with limbs missing, which do regenerate.
The basic rule of thumb, as Andrew says, is to keep similar sizes together, (some grow faster than others.) Keep their stomachs full, and most importantly, do not overcrowd.

30th November 2004, 07:01
Just some extra advice: I always keep maximum of 10 larvae in a tank of 30 x 20 cm. If you provide them shelters (small pieces of broken ceramic pots (used for plants) or aquatic plants they will feel better. You will see that within tanks some larvae row faster, you just have to change the smaller ones in due time.
Great that the pet store says they from Asia...the Ukraine is more likely.

30th November 2004, 19:25
Is there any way of telling when the Salamander will diposit the larvae. Do they act different or maybe feed differently prior to depositing. i ask because I am under the impression given by the store owner that it could be any day. But salamanders dont seem to be his speciality.

Thanks again guys

1st December 2004, 00:29
I don't have a way of determining when a salamander is close to parturition.

A large meal could possibly accelerate the process.

You can easily tell after the event though. http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/wink.gif

10th January 2005, 14:13
Finally, I had given up on their being any larvae salamanders and just there on saturday i found 6 larvae swimming about in the water bowl. i separated them into two containers with 3 in each and filled it with spring water. I went to the fish shop today and bought some fry food and frozen brine. One thing i did notice is that the larvae swim quickly to the surface and then staight back to the bottom again. Its not that deep about 2,3 inches. Ive set the containers at a slope so there is shallow and deep ends. I hope they don't die. What are the main dangers to look out for?

10th January 2005, 15:48
I doubt that they will take frozen brine shrimp, and it does foul the water quickly, stick to daphnia and frozen bloodworm, switching to small/chopped earthworms as the larvae grow.
Keep the larvae in as large a volume of water as possible, i.e. a large seed tray. It's easier to keep the water "sweet" that way.
You don't need a shallow end, not for a few weeks yet, minimum depth 3 inches. Transfer them to another tray every 48 hours. I use tap water that has been allowed to stand for 48 hours, to allow the chlorine to dissipate.
I think that she will produce more larvae in the days/weeks to come.

11th January 2005, 11:40
Cheers Mike. yeah they don't seem to keen on the fry food or brine, i'll get some bloodworm later today. I did ask about the daphnia when I was in the shop the other day but was told that they were out of season and unavailable. Will the bloodworm be sufficient on its own?

Also the mature salamander is spending a lot of time in the water bowl. Lets hope there are more larvae on the way as you say.

Cheers, Bob

11th January 2005, 13:38
I wouldn't recommend feeding just bloodworm Bob, culturing daphnia and whiteworm is easy.....take a look in the "Live and Frozen Foods" section.

18th January 2005, 16:44
Well you were right Mike. I've now got 10 larvae. They seem to enjoy the bloodworm. Is there any danger of overfeeding? I can't find any daphnia or white worm in the local fish shops. They say that they are all out of season. When should I think about providing a dry area for them climb out onto when they metamorph? Cheers again.


19th January 2005, 01:35
The more food that you can cram into them makes for larger neonates.
Try to net some daphnia from a local pond, you don't need many to start a culture going.
Here's a link for whiteworm: http://www.wormsdirectuk.co.uk/
Dependant on temperature/feeding, larvae normally lose their gills at 5-6 weeks of age. You will notice beforehand that their head and tail shape changes, and the adult pigmentation starts to show.
Just prop their container to create a dry area at one end, but don't forget the tight-fittting lid.http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/happy.gif

4th April 2005, 14:28
Well its been a while since my last report. I had at one stage 18 larvae which was great. then there was some sort of epidemic and they all started dying off. I lost all but 8 in the space of about a week. Thankfully the 8 that survived seem to be thriving now and ive had no fatalities for the last two months. The larvae have just recently started changing colour to the general black and yellow. They are about 6cm long now. I've got their tank set on a slope so if they decide to walk out they can. Do you think they will morph soon mike? Any tips i should know for when they do come out? Cheers

4th April 2005, 23:52
Well done Bob, you're nearly there!
They should certainly morph very soon, if you can educate them to feed on small/chopped earthworms now they will continue once they are fully terrestrial. Otherwise crickets are a good staple...they naturally go for fast moving insects.