- Scientific Name: Salamandra salamandra
- Lifespan: Up to 30 years with proper care.
- Handling: Fire salamanders are one of the few amphibians that may tolerate handling, but should only be handled for a short period of time. You should always wash your hands before and after handling your fire salamander. For precautionary measures, you may even want to wear latex gloves due to the toxic ooze that fire salamanders may secrete. It is highly toxic if ingested.
- Size: Approximately 7 – 10 inches, on occasion maybe even 12 inches.
- Care: Easy
- Community:It is not ideal to keep multiple fire salamanders together due to territorial behaviors being reported. However, if you do choose to house multiple fire salamanders together, make sure to keep a close eye on them to avoid any sort of aggression.
- Lifestyle: Nocturnal, active at night.
Tank size varies:
- 1 fire salamander = 10 gallon tank
- 2 fire salamander = 15 gallon tank
- 3 fire salamander = 20 gallon tank
Note: A lid is necessary on the tank enclosure to avoid escapes.
The only things you will be needing in your fire salamanders enclosure will be…
- Hides which may include half logs, coconut huts, and etc. to allow your fire salamanders to hide in to sleep or retreat to when feeling threatened or scared.
- Rocks and pieces of driftwood to allow your fire salamander(s) to climb on and under.
- Water bowl to allow your fire salamander to hydrate and soak in. The water bowl should only be deep enough for your salamander to soak itself without its head going under water.
- Substrate to allow your fire salamander(s) to burrow in.
Lighting and Heating
Fire salamanders do not need a UVB bulb or any other type of special lighting. All they need is a source of heat through a regular house bulb.
Temperatures should be…
60 – 68 °F is recommended. Anything above 73 °F should be avoided.
No lights are necessary. 60 – 65 °F is recommended. If it is too cold to achieve this temperature without lights, I recommend using a heat emitter or a reptile infrared heat light. Make sure to check temps at night, to reassure the temps are good to avoid stress.
Fire salamanders will eat the same diet as your normal amphibians would, which may include crickets, silkworms, phoenix worms, and other live food. If you are housing more than one fire salamander in an enclosure, you should monitor the feedings to make sure each fire salamander is getting their fair share of food.
Their feedings must be dusted as follows:
- Calcium without D3 every other feeding
- Calcium with D3 – 2-3 times a month
- Multivitamins – 2-3 times a month
Humidity and Hydration
Humidity levels should be between 60 – 70 %. You can achieve these percentages by misting the fire salamanders enclosure twice daily; once in the morning and once again in the afternoon. If the levels are still not being reached, just mist a few more times throughout the day. Don’t mist too much, that your substrate turns into mud. You don’t want that happening. For hydration, your fire salamander will use a water dish to absorb water and to hydrate itself. So make sure it is cleaned out daily and replaced with proper de-chlorinated water.
Water that is safe to use:
- De-chlorinated water
- Tap water that has been left out for 24 hours uncovered, allowing the chlorine to evaporate
- Bottled water
People use different substrate and have different opinions. The best substrate most people will agree on is coconut fiber (coco fiber) also known as eco earth. Do not confuse this with coconut husk or coconut chips, because those are not the types of substrates you will want to use. When creating the substrate in the enclosure, you are going to want to make one half of the enclosure a little damper than the other half. Usually the side with the water bowl is the side that you want more damped. Creating two sides with different types of dampness will give your fire salamander options to choose from when it wants to burrow. Again, do not make the substrate turn into mud and have left over water in the substrate. Just simply spray it enough that you can make a ball of substrate in your hand like a snowball.
Crickets will use this substrate to lay their eggs in, so keep an eye on the crickets if you are releasing them into the enclosure. Make sure your fire salamander(s) eats them all. You don’t want your enclosure infested with baby crickets in a week or so, nonetheless in your house.
Note: The information on this care sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care.