Here are some extracts from The Amphibians of the Former Soviet Union...S.L.Kuzmin (1999)
"In the USSR Salamandra salamandra is certainly known only from the mountains and foothills of the Ukrainian Carpathians,between 150-1600m above sea level.The variability of Ukraine salamandra populations is poorly known.
They prefer micro-habitats covered with dense leaf litter and moss,as in the pristine forests of the Carpathians.Temperature under the substrate may be only +12-+15C,when temperatures on the surface are +25C.
Larvae found in small,stone covered streams,with summer water temps.of +10-+18C,with a pH ca.7.2.
Adults tolerant of low temperatures, retaining ability to move even near 0 degrees C.Upper lethal temps +30C or more.Adults active at +9-+26C,relative humidity of 65-95%.
Group hibernation is typical.Near hot water springs they may congregate in their hundreds.
Mating generally from April-September.Development is completed by late autumn,females hibernate with larvae in their oviducts,and leave their hibernacula in the spring to give birth in brooks,(12-30, maximum 70 individuals)
Maturing in 3rd or 4th years,female TL of 140mm,males 120mm.In captivity lives up to 18 years.
In the 1990s it was subject to commercial trade for terrarium keepers.It is in the Red Data Book of Ukraine,and lives in one nature reserve!
My animals are very robust and breed annually.
Spot on ,exactly what I needed to know,sounds as if I was lucky to aquire them.Any advice on breeding my Salamandra Algira,Do they hibernate? Had sucess this year with Fastuosa and Bernarderzi, and my Almonzoris look gravid(or just fat)
I have S. salamandra from the Ukraine. I have a hunch that parts of the Ukraine, like parts of France, have been hammered by pet trade collectors. My salamandra's blotches are a lovely creamy orange and they are very big animals.
(I know this thread is about S salamandra but you mention almanzoris, Paul, and I couldn't help adding... these are one of my many favourites - they are so sturdy... bullet-proof little characters that are great eaters! They always look like they are wearing gloves!
Again, this is just gossip and I may be putting two and two together to make five but I have heard the position on the ground is that these are only found in one area - a lake in a mountainous region - and that human beings have helpfully added non-native fish, endangering their continued survival. Your almanzoris are worth hanging onto!!!)
Hi you both. Russia has been 'robbed'from salamanders and newts over the past years. Here in Europe often wild caught animals appaer from Ukraine, sometimes in great numbers. By the way, many species there are on the Red list of Endangered animals, but it seems in practice that money is more important...
To Salamandra lagira; they don't hibernate! Winter time is their activity period. The start giving birth to larvae from autumn (northern hemisphere) until spring. They more or less aestivate during summer periods.
They are not as easy as to breed, but good luck!
Hello mate,can I ask where you got your sals from? I could not agree with you more,out of the thirty odd species of sal I have (I know sad obsessive)the Almozoris rank as one of the most entertaining(like the bull terrier of the salamander world).I aim to attain and breed all sub species of Fire salamander,as I believe habitat destruction and over collecting will do untold damage.I have large Gigliolii which are very similar in character to the almonzoris.(the Almonzoris are only found in the Gredos glacial area.)
I am desperate to get hold of some Morenica,beschkovi,semenovi,orientalis,corsica or infrainmaculata.As well as Atra,lanzai,aurorae and
salamandrina terdigitata.Any ideas.
Serge`s comments on S.algira are of course "bang on".
I keep animals from 3 different localities,...Chefchaouen...Tetouan,in Morocco,and a livebearing form originating from near Ceuta (Spanish possession) which produces terrestrial young in December.
These salamanders are in the process of being described,and will be,i think a full Species.Possibly Salamandra tangitana!
I have seen S.s.almonzoris in the glacial lakes of the Sierra de Gredos.I found larvae in the shallows,but also adults,surprisingly hiding under heavy rocks that were completely submerged,in the cold waters of the lake.
The new algira will be described as a new subspecies: Salamandra algira tingitana. A Spanish collegue and me have written the description of this new subpecies. We can not make it a species as we then should first do more investigation on the Algerian forms, which is not possilbe due to unstable political situation there.
As all goes well it will be published in POD@RCIS (www.podarcis.nl) near the end of this year. I'll let you know when it comes out on this website forum.
And Paul if you want to collect all forms of Salamandra I would start building a new house. From field experience I can tell you that Salamandra populations from only a few kilometers apart can differ in size, coloration etc. Sometimes each valley can have it's own form...
Many of the subspecies described are more or less just color or shape variants. The Salamandra group is not that easy to split up in corners. Many forms show intermediate characters between two or more subspecies, and even within subspecies ranges local populations can be different from the terra typica form!
Don't hang on to the name tags; keep only the ones you really like or do best is my advice. And only with a known locality (so captive bred if you want to do it legally and not harm wild populations). Keeping (and breeding) all of them is impossible. Especially breeding; if you want to do it well you need to have many rearing tanks for larvae (as they are cannibalistic you need to split most of them as well). But dreaming is very nice; but don't think they are all as easy to keep and breed. I have my S. algira for several years, and reproduction is very irregular, whereas other Salamandra produce every year.
My comment about collecting all sub species was slightly tounge in cheek.I would like a large collection but space , money,time and my wife ) govern what is possible.I will keep those which I can attain and care for properly .
I will try and breed those which I have,but it is not vital to me. I am very interested in attaining Atra,lanzai and aurorae though and the Salamandrina terdigitata.
I will look forward to the article,I have been on the website and thought it excellant.Good luck with the taxonomy.
Salamandrina is a interesting, but difficult species to breed (or must I say raise). On the POD@RCIS website you can find an artcile I published together with my friend Frank Pasmans on keeping and breeding this species. I can also send it to you if you want by e-mail.
But you can also freely download it from the website, only subscription ius necessary.
S. BOGAERTS & F. PASMANS, 2002. Field observations and repeated breeding of the Spectacled Salamander, Salamandrina terdigitata, POD@RCIS 3(2): 59-68.
I'm quite against keeping Salamandrina in captivity...I'm studying a little population of this wonderful amphibian (IN Rome!!!) and I'm in contact with others people who are doing the same research in others parts of Italy...these populations are often little and with almost no genetic exchange between others populations...I would not increase keeping these animals as about 99% of salamandrinas are WC...and I think we have no rights to catch them from nature...also because they are raher difficult to keep and breed!
I have two Salamandrina that were originally bred by Serge.They are F2 I believe.
They are kept in small 2 litre plastic boxes,with damp kitchen towel as a substrate,and a cork bark hide,and are fed small black crickets,which are dusted with limestone flour,and vitamin supplements.
(Limestone flour is a useful,cheap calcium supplement,which can be obtained from horse feed suppliers.)
Temperature variation through the seasons is 5 - 25 degrees C.
they are F2 indeed. F1 was bred in an outside garden near Rome, by Stefano Gozzo. I got juveniles from him back in 1995 (or 1994). I have raised those. And yours are the only few left of my first litter. Well, the article is clear about it.
Indeed Leonardo is correct that this species is very delicate, and should only be kept by experienced keepers. WC are illegal in 'the whole of Europe (FFH-guideline 1992), and I also hope that WC will not become available. I hope the Italians will manage to breed them.
sadly (or for luck) even in Italy we cannot keep Salamandrina, so there are very few chances to breed them (only authorised researchers or institutes can keep them)...
I've kept some juveniles (from eggs) for about a year...they don't fit well in captivity...they ate mainly aphids and small crickets...afetr about a year I released them in nature...(mainly because it's illegal to keep them)...I think to have been "useful" for "my" little population...
i highly recommend “buyanaxolotl.com”- ive purchased from them and received a beautiful animal for relatively cheap, in great condition, and excellent shipping precautions. the breeders are a couple living in georgia (i believe, don’t quite remember) and they’re fantastic. sometimes their website contact page doesn’t work, so i’d probably try just emailing them. good luck and happy hunting!