The longest running Amphibian Community on the Internet.

Tags Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Store


Newt and Salamander Help Got a problem? Ill newt? Basic questions? Ask about them here.



Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 28th June 2019   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 6
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: CosmicEscapist is an unknown quantity at this point
Unhappy Help! Small orange-ish bugs chewed up my salamander!

Hello from the Pacific Northwest!

I will start with this : I do not have photos of these bugs. I wanted them off of my pet ASAP and only afterwards did I realize that I should've taken the chance to document them to better identify a solution.

They were very small, thin, almost wormlike? gathering in clusters of easily dozens, clumps smaller than a dime but VERY packed, near all 4 of my salamander's limbs where he wouldn't be able to reach them. I own an Ambystoma Gracile (Northwestern Salamander) that I had recently put into a new tank. I've owned him for about 6 months and have never had any bug issues, and haven't seen these bugs before nor since.

(Details on the new tank below if it helps ID the problem...) I tried gently rinsing them off, but that didn't get many - they were stuck, so I grabbed some new latex gloves and had to push them off while I held my pet. He was very unhappy with this, haven't seen him so upset. Underneath, I discovered that one of his shoulders now had a chewed hole, and the other 3 limbs had a bit of irritation, but no defined cuts / holes apart from the 1. No blood as far as I can tell, but he has begun to shed, which I've never seen him do. He's not trying to get the shedding off, and it seems to only be near his limbs, definitely not one big connected sheet. He's been a little lethargic yesterday and today, not outright rejecting food but becoming pickier. He seems to be avoiding his water dish now (only wanting to have back legs / tail in water, if at all), not wanting to swim, even though he's usually very happy to do so. Not sure what to do about this. He's drying out more due to his refusal to stay in his pool. Since that's where he usually poops, not sure if he's doing that either. I'm misting him gently but he's not doing a lot of moving, he was very content in the new tank to go digging and hiding wherever he pleased so that could be a factor in his lethargy, too. Please help if you are able, I can grab pictures if it helps.... thank you for reading.

Tank specs, if they help -

The tank has a drainage layer at the bottom, a mesh layer, then a mix of topsoil and jungle substrate. He has a plastic dish sitting on a terracotta under-pot dish to catch spills, a piece of wood he likes to hide under, some plants including wandering jew, pothos, scotch moss... The soil had been baked, rocks boiled in hot water, same with the log and the dish.

The old tank, there were no problems. Same dirt selection, same rocks, log, dish, etc. But NO plants and NO terracotta dish. Those 2 are the only things I can think of that might not have gotten completely clean before being put in the new tank. He's back in his temporary tank while I try to figure things out - completely new dirt in there, haven't seen the bugs since then.

Would I be able to lure these bugs out by putting some meat in the tank or is that too big of a bacteria risk ???

CosmicEscapist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th June 2019   #2
Otterwoman's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 6,544
Gallery Images: 58
Comments: 71
Rep: Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11
Default Re: Help! Small orange-ish bugs chewed up my salamander!

I can't imagine what they might have been but they must have come from the plants, I'm thinking. I would start over with a new tank with no plants (I have one that has lived for years just fine without a plant) or a silk plant, if you like the look, and hope for his recovery.
If he has a wound that won't heal, a trip to the vet, if possible.

Please become acquainted with the forum rules.

Useful Links: Caudata Culture | Species Accounts | Care Articles | Newt and Salamander FAQs | | Axolotl FAQs | Forum Functions | My Blog
Otterwoman is offline   Reply With Quote

bug, bugs, health, injury, salamander, shedding

Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads

Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Chewed up gills? danchristopher Sick Axolotl? 3 18th November 2011 04:11
small little bugs in tank (look like sand!) jolyons Sick Axolotl? 3 20th February 2008 17:46
wanted isopods, doodle bugs, roly poleys, pill bugs, wood lice michael Wanted in the USA 0 10th November 2007 01:54
Chewed Limbs frenchgal Sick Axolotl? 7 29th September 2007 08:56
HELP!!!!my fire salamander had small white bugs on him deadinthebasement Newt and Salamander Help 4 27th January 2006 19:30

All times are GMT. The time now is 13:21.