Do Fire Salamanders like red worms?

salamandergal

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I have recently purchased a pair of salamandra salamandra terrestris, and they are slowly adjusting to their new environment. I have seen one eat crickets, so it probably means that the other is eating, too. (I just didnt see it.)
I put a couple of red worms in the terrarium but they dont seem to eat them. They aren't chopped.
Has anyone else discovered that they dont like them? Should I try another kind of worm? Maybe smaller nightcrawlers?
I will be feeding them small mealworms tonight with a few crickets.
Thank you ahead of time!
 

IanF

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They may just be use to eating crickets, keep trying with normal earthworms or something along those lines. Here's a quick article you may or may not have read - http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/worms.shtml
I'd reccomend just to keep trying them with a variety of worms to see which they prefer (I myself use dug worms from a pesticide free area), crickets aren't neccasarily a very good food for caudates and unfortunately some pet shops feed them exclusively on this rather than more nutritional foods.
 

Steve Roman

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The short answer to your question is no. I have tried them in the past and while they will eat them, my salamandra didn't care for them very much and would regularly spit them out. Red worms give off a toxin that they find distasteful. Sometimes the salamanders can be fooled by rinsing off the red worm well, but I finally gave up with them deciding that red worms were just not a feasible food unless you were desperate.
Earthworm on the other hand seem to be relished. If you can get nice safe dug worms like Ian suggests then night crawlers are another alternative. Just cut off a section of the worm that is size appropriate for the salamander. Some people feed salamandra a mixture of earthworms and crickets. They are sometimes quite fond of slugs; these may or may not provide a parasite problem, depending you who you speak to.
 

benw

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I agree with Steve on this one, i have approaching 50 fire sals and not a single one will eat the red worms.

They may be fooled into taking one, then spit it out and wont touch them again.

i give mine worms i have dug up, and vitamin dusted crickets, as they like to chase them about the tank.

Ben
 

salamandergal

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Steve, Ian aand sonic,
Thank you all for the replies.
Yes, I'm geeting the impression that they dont like them. I think its time to buy some nightcrawlers.
 

peterrobbo

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Reading this thread I was wondering if the worms you are feeding were Eisenia fetida which are very often sold as Red worms , they are also know as manure worms, tiger worms or brandlings. They have reddish banding along their body and they exude a yellowish fluid if handled which is probably noxious to caudates. Another worm sold as ' Red worm' is Lumbricus rubellus which is actually more red than the above and doesn't have any banding or exudes any noxious fluid. I find my tropical fish very much prefer them. I cannot state my caudates preferance as they get given a mix of Eisenia fetida, Dendrobaena byblica, Lumbricus rubellus and white worms plus loads of other compost creatures.Whatever they eat they are putting on loads of weight. I would be interested in knowing if any one who posted on this topic with worm feeding problems was feeding either Eisenia fetida or Lumbricus rubellus?

Peter
 

John

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which is probably noxious to caudates
Not true. It's distasteful. I used to feed these to my fire salamanders quite regularly when they were young. Put several worms into a small container of water, use a forceps to hold the worm and a sharp scissors to cut the worm into manageable sections and drop back into the water. Let them sit for 30 seconds to wash most of the excretion off and feed. No problems. It may take a few attempts over several days to bring the salamanders around but once they do, these worms are just as good a food as any other.
 

peterrobbo

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When I said noxious I actualy think distasteful is a better word. As these worms exude the yellow stuff when under stress its got to have some repellant qualities. However, back to my original question to the original posters on this thread, do you think the worm species you had problems with was Eisenia fetida or Lumbricus rubellus. I am culturing the latter as I feel it will be better accepted by my fish and newts/salamanders, any opinions ???
Peter
 

crotusia

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Please, never use the so-called red wigglers or manure worms because they can be toxic. I have actually had some newts die after eating them... Stick with nightcrawlers or dug worms, crickets (soft-bodied without wings), and waxworms... I have had great results using those for my fire salamanders.
 

John

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Crotusia - I think you'll find your experience doesn't match up with the rest of us. I can only assume your worms were either not the right kind or sources from somewhere that didn't keep them in suitable conditions to use as a food source, or the cause of death was something else.
 

merk199

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I feed my fire sals red worms 90% of the time. Occasionally when they are not available I will switch to smaller sized nightcrawlers. There has been an adjustment period with most of my newts to get them to accept them. When I am going down that path that is all that is offered. It may take 2-3 weeks to get them to go for them but that is ok. Also I have found that if I feed them from long tweezers with the dark end of the worm (head?) wiggling in front of their face it will generally generate a feeding response. Another method to get red worms to be eaten for smaller newts has been to cut them real small with a razor and spike them on a toothpick. I only rinse the worms before I cut them to wash the dirt off. I don't bother soaking cut pieces. I have 8-10 different species which all take them. In fact if I switch off to different species to feed I get less of a feeding response.
 

crotusia

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Crotusia - I think you'll find your experience doesn't match up with the rest of us. I can only assume your worms were either not the right kind or sources from somewhere that didn't keep them in suitable conditions to use as a food source, or the cause of death was something else.
But please note that several other members in the earlier posts above all seem to agree that their salamanders dislike red worms (the Eisenia fetida type, not Lumbricus rubellus, which is OK)...
To clarify things and prove my point, please read this article regarding the suitability of different types of worms as food for herps: Feeding Earthworms: Red Wigglers vs. Nightcrawlers - gartersnake.info
 
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