Fun Alpine Salamander Facts For Kids

Anusuya Mukherjee
Oct 20, 2022 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
To know more about this animal, read these alpine salamander facts.
?
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.1 Min

The alpine salamander (Salamandra atra) is from the Salamandridae family and is found in the Alpine arc and some separate areas in the Dinaric Alps to which it is native. The alpine salamander distribution range consists of the Swiss-French Border in the western part and from Austria to the Dinaric Alps in the eastern part. The alpine salamander habitat consists of mixed coniferous and deciduous forests and this species is also known to have adapted to live in cold mountains.

These species tend to mate on land and males clasps the females at the forelegs. It gives birth to two live young and the gestation period is around two years long in the 2132-3281 ft (650-1000 m) altitude and three years in the 4593-5577 ft (1400-1700 m).

These species tend to have an elongated head and two large parotoid glands. A double row of poison glands and one row of poison glands extends from the middle of the back and on both the sides of the body along with the tail, respectively. The color of the body is black-brown with some patches or spots and males tend to have more prominent cloaca as compared to a female. This salamander eats spiders, snails, larvae, and worms. These salamanders have a poisonous liquid in their skin glands which is excreted when threatened and might be fatal to humans, but not much is recorded about human experiences with this salamander as this animal tends to escape or hide from humans. It is a terrestrial species and there have been four subspecies recognized.

It is quite gripping to learn about this animal and if you are interested, read about spring salamander and spotted salamander, too.

Alpine Salamander Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an alpine salamander?

It is a species of salamander.

What class of animal does an alpine salamander belong to?

It belongs to the class of Amphibia.

How many alpine salamanders are there in the world?

There is no exact count estimated for the total population of this type of salamander.

Where does an alpine salamander live?

This salamander is endemic to the Alpine arc and some separate areas in the Dinaric Alps. The distribution range consists of the Swiss-French Border in the western part and from Austria to the Dinaric Alps in the eastern part.

What is an alpine salamander's habitat?

This salamander inhabits mixed coniferous and deciduous forests and is found on limestones. These salamanders inhabit alpine woodlands and humid meadows. They tend to live in crevices and cracks of the rocks.

Who do alpine salamanders live with?

Salamanders, in general, are known to be solitary animals.

How long does an alpine salamander live?

The life span of the alpine salamander (Salamandra atra) is recorded to be around 10 years.

How do they reproduce?

The mating of the Salamandra atra (alpine salamander) takes place on land. The males tend to clasp the female at the forelegs and deposits the spermatophore and the fertilization takes place internally. This salamander gives live birth to two young ones as it is viviparous, and very rarely birth is given to three or four young ones. The embryo of the salamander goes through three different stages that are, being enclosed in the egg and living on the yolk, then it becomes free and stays inside the vitelline mass and is swallowed from the mouth. In the last stage, the embryo is free of the vitelline mass and is known to possess long gills and through these gills, the exchange of the nutritive fluid by the maternal uterus. The gestation period is around two years long in the 2132-3281 ft (650-1000 m) altitude and three years in the 4593-5577 ft (1400-1700 m).

What is their conservation status?

These salamanders are placed under the Least Concern category of conservation status.

Alpine Salamander Fun Facts

What does alpine salamander look like?

It tends to have an elongated head and two large parotoid glands that are kidney-shaped. There are 11-13 costal grooves on both sides of the body. The tail is in cross-section and is square in shape. A double row of poison glands and one row of poison glands extends from the middle of the back and on both the sides of the body along with the tail, respectively. It has a black or brown-colored body usually, but a subspecies Salamandra atra aurorae is known to have a bright-colored head, dorsal side, and back. The coloration might have patches. Males of this species tend to have more prominent cloaca as compared to a female.

Alpine Salamander

How cute are they?

The Salamandra atra (alpine salamander) is not considered cute by people.

How do they communicate?

Salamanders are not considered to be vocal and tend to communicate using chemical and tactile cues.

How big is an alpine salamander?

Alpine salamanders are 5.7-6 in (14.4-15 cm) long. These salamanders are slightly larger than a Texas-horned lizard and slightly smaller than a sand lizard.

How fast can an alpine salamander move?

The exact moving speed of this salamander is unknown, but they are known to be quite slow-moving creatures.

How much does an alpine salamander weigh?

The weight of the salamanders on average ranges from 4.23-7.05 oz (120-200 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males and females of this species do not have any specific names assigned.

What would you call a baby alpine salamander?

Baby salamanders are referred to as salamander nymphs.

What do they eat?

These salamanders tend to feed on spiders, snails, insects, larvae, and worms.

Are they dangerous?

In general, salamanders are not considered dangerous to humans as they mostly hide or escape from humans. However, they do have poisonous liquid in their skin glands which are excreted when the salamander is threatened. Mostly all salamanders secrete a toxic substance but the red eft, juvenile of the eastern newt, is recorded to be highly poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

Not much is known about salamanders as pets.

Did you know...

Four subspecies have been identified, namely, Salamander atra atra, S.a. aurorae, S.a. pasubiensis, and S.a. prenjensis.

Salamandra atra atra is popular for its complete melanistic or black body and is found in the eastern, central, and Dinaric Alps.

The subspecies Salamandra atra aurorae is also known as the golden alpine salamander and is found in a small region of Venetian Prealps.

Salamandra atra pasubiensis is known to have comparatively lesser yellow-colored spots or patches than S.a. aurorae and is also found in Venetian Prealps but in a different region.

Salamandra atra prenjensis is found in the Prenj Mountain in parts that lie in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Salamanders are considered to be smart creatures.

Salamanders are considered to be somewhere between a frog and a lizard in terms of appearance.

Salamanders in general are considered to be nocturnal creatures and are most active during the cool time of day.

It is believed that the species, Corsican fire salamander (Salamandra corsica) is the closest relative of the alpine salamander, and the coloration of the Corsican fire salamander is considered to be the ancestral feature of the alpine salamander.

It is a terrestrial species.  

Terraria, a famous action-adventure video game has a salamander as one of its important characters and is named or known as salamander terraria or terraria salamander.

What is the life cycle of a salamander?

The stages of the life cycle of the salamander consist of egg, larvae, juvenile, and adult.

Can salamanders live in the fire?

Ancient people wrongly believed that salamanders were born in the fire as when they used logs and put on a fire, salamanders used to come out. Salamanders tend to live or hide under logs and thus, cannot live in fire.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other amphibians from our blue poison dart frog facts and purple frog facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable alpine salamander coloring pages.

Alpine Salamander Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Insects and spiders

What Type of Animal were they?

Carnivore

Average Litter Size?

2

How Much Did They Weigh?

4.23-7.05 oz (120-200 g)

What habitat Do they Live In?

coniferous and deciduous forests

Where Do They Live?

alps

How Long Were They?

5.7-6 in (14.4-15 cm)

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Class

Amphibia

Genus

Salamandra

Family

Salamandridae

Scientific Name

Salamandra atra

What Do They Look Like?

Black

Skin Type

Shiny and moist skin

What Are Their Main Threats?

habitat destruction

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

Read full bio >
Read the DisclaimerFact Correction