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How much to feed Salamandra salamandra?

schmiggle

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I've been getting very aggressive feeding responses from mine, and of course this is generally a good thing (I figure it means they're not sick), but could it mean I don't feed them enough? Also, is there a good food per day based on size and age or something?
 

Blackbun

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Hello schmiggle, in theory this should be a fairly simple question but in practice I think it is quite complex. Certainly based on my experience of fastuosa, terrestris and giglioli it depends on the external temperature. Colder they become less active, warmer more active etc. Being poikilotherms means everything is tied into this really I reckon. Mine stop feeding at about 7C and are very active upto about 20C. My adults are subjected to normal UK weather (south east) which I believe have given me such success with these animals (They are brought into a frost proof area during cold nights). Youngsters however are kept in my house until they are about 2 or 3 year old. One must consider rates or digestion too. When it's cold I feed very little as I don't want the meal sitting in the salamanders' gut too long. I feed the small white slugs, chopped earth worms, crickets, meal worm, caterpillars and tend to let them eat all they will over night and then leave it at that for three days before feeding again. Having said that, if I see them out and about early in the evening I take this to mean theyt are hungry and so feed them again. With time you get to read their behaviour.
 

schmiggle

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Thanks very much blackbun! I've been feeding more or less every other day, and it seems to work fine (they get very aggressive about food on day 2), but I will keep in mind about temps and about reading their behavior.
 

Blackbun

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Thank you schmiggle.
Many years back, one of my concerns with feeding earthworms and other inverts from the garden was the possibility of introducing internal parasites particularly nematodes and protozoans. As a result I, I started to use shop bought inverts such as the crickets etc. Then I got a job in a research lab working with commercially produced meal worm and was really shocked to see (microscopical examination) that many cultures contained a range of intermediary parasites on route to their final host including tapeworm. So, it put my mind at ease in my use of wild caught inverts although I do feed commercial food too as it is convenient and adds variety. Incidently, I have never used these multivitamin calcium powders. Variety is the key.
Do you keep your salamanders inside? I know NJ quite well as I have family there and the extremes of temperature in the summer and winter there. The summers in particular would be a real problem. I do like my animals to be out as much as possible so that they are still in cycle with the seasons.
 
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