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Old 26th March 2016   #1
fafler
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Talking Found a salamander, thought the be long gone

I want to share a story that happened to me the other day. It starts a year ago, when my brother, who is into spiders, brought me 4 juvenile fire salamanders from a trade show. I have very little experience in raising any newts or salamanders, and most of it in screwing things up. 3 of those died before they left the water. The fourth went on land sometime last summer and I placed it a terrarium with a lot of moss and roots. It immediately disappeared, and months went by without any signs of life, while I kept tossing in some earthworms and woodlice in there from time to time. In the autumn, my brother got me another fire salamander, an adult, and thinking I would never would see the small one, I put it in the same terrarium. Six months have since passed, the adult fire salamander is doing well. And then the other day, early in the morning, I was getting up from bed and going to the bathroom. Then something caught my eye. There was two fire salamanders in the terrarium. I stopped and stared in disbelief, thinking I wasn't really awake, but it really was there. The tiny 4 cm long and pencil thin brown juvenile I last saw last summer had grown to around 8 cm and have gotten beautiful yellow and black markings! Really plump and good shape. Obviously, it need it's privacy, and when I got back from the bathroom, only the tail was visible under a rock. Now I guess the only thing I need to do go dig some more earthworms and make it to big to hide all the time.



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Old 26th March 2016   #2
Chinadog
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Default Re: Found a salamander, thought the be long gone

Nice story! :)
Most terrestrial salamanders are very secretive and stay hidden from view most of the time. It might be worth putting some worms in there at night and watching what happens. I use a torch with a red bulb to watch my animals at night, they don't seem to notice the red light and just go about their business like I'm not there.



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Old 26th March 2016   #3
JBear
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Default Re: Found a salamander, thought the be long gone

Glad to hear you have the 2, are they the same ssp? If not, I would consider separate enclosures. Fire salamanders are easily bred and It would not be ideal to interbreed 2 separate ssp. Best of luck!

JBear



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Old 26th March 2016   #4
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Default Re: Found a salamander, thought the be long gone

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Originally Posted by Chinadog View Post
Nice story! :)
Most terrestrial salamanders are very secretive and stay hidden from view most of the time. It might be worth putting some worms in there at night and watching what happens. I use a torch with a red bulb to watch my animals at night, they don't seem to notice the red light and just go about their business like I'm not there.
Thanks! I usually feed them in the afternoon when I get home from work, because the aquatic species have doesn't care. The adult is usually out in the morning, and when the lights turn on, it starts walking very slowly towards it's hideout.

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Originally Posted by jbherpin View Post
Glad to hear you have the 2, are they the same ssp? If not, I would consider separate enclosures. Fire salamanders are easily bred and It would not be ideal to interbreed 2 separate ssp. Best of luck!

JBear
Most of the supply for such animals here in Denmark are sold at a few annual trade shows, and it seems the is only a one or two importers there have these species, so I believe there's a very good chance they are, but I have no way of confirming that. Both of them are the yellow/black variant. Is there any other way to determine it? If it's a male and a female, I'd like to get them to breed some day, but it's not really important. But I'd like to keep together, just to save space.



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Old 27th March 2016   #5
Blake
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My barred tiger, Jabba. Is most active at night under the blue night light when he thinks I'm not watching. Your little fire belly is probably coming out late at night to feed. Like Chinadog said, you can observe them at night from time to time without disturbing them and without them noticing you.

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Old 28th March 2016   #6
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I think what jbherpin meant was that you should not mix-breed salamandra salamandra terrestris with, say, s.s. gigliolii. They are both yellow and black, but not the same "type".
The importer must have said something about that, or should have.
You could try and get a detailed book on fire salamanders and compare yours to descriptions and pictures to find out what salamandrae you actually have. Because the colour isn't the main hint there...

As to sex:
They become adults somewhere between two and five years, depending on all kinds of things. If they are in that age group, their cloacae should show. Haven't done it myself yet as mine are only just over a year.
(At 8cm full length one should be too young for sexing still, about the same age as mine, maybe, if it is of a species or subspecies of a comparable growth. If it is only the body excluding the tail, it should be older.)

But there are some more experienced keepers on here who might try with pictures - both for sexing and the "type(s)" you have there.



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Old 30th March 2016   #7
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Default Re: Found a salamander, thought the be long gone

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Originally Posted by Salamandrin View Post
I think what jbherpin meant was that you should not mix-breed salamandra salamandra terrestris with, say, s.s. gigliolii. They are both yellow and black, but not the same "type".
The importer must have said something about that, or should have.
You could try and get a detailed book on fire salamanders and compare yours to descriptions and pictures to find out what salamandrae you actually have. Because the colour isn't the main hint there...

As to sex:
They become adults somewhere between two and five years, depending on all kinds of things. If they are in that age group, their cloacae should show. Haven't done it myself yet as mine are only just over a year.
(At 8cm full length one should be too young for sexing still, about the same age as mine, maybe, if it is of a species or subspecies of a comparable growth. If it is only the body excluding the tail, it should be older.)

But there are some more experienced keepers on here who might try with pictures - both for sexing and the "type(s)" you have there.
Thanks. And no, I admit I haven't got much knowledge about these and the seller is long gone, so I'm not going to get any information there. Can you recommend any books? Maybe something that also cover other species, like my p. walti? Which I'm actually are more interested in breeding, as they always lay eggs and even have some now.



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Old 30th March 2016   #8
Heather Jewett
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Default Re: Found a salamander, thought the be long gone

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Originally Posted by fafler View Post
Can you recommend any books?
Salamanders - Keeping and Breeding by Pasmans, Bogaert, Janssen, and Sparreboom

This is quickly becoming a favorite of caudata.org members (see here: http://www.caudata.org/forum/f1-gene...parreboom.html). I just got my copy earlier in the week and have only had a chance to thumb through, but I don't think you will be disappointed.

HJ



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