Fun Fire Salamander Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Jan 11, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta
Fire Salamander facts are very interesting for children.

The fire salamander is an amphibian found in the deciduous forests of Central Europe. They are mostly found in Germany, Poland, and Hungary.

They used to have a great population in the Netherlands but that was almost wiped out because of a virus that infected the salamanders' skin. They can also be found in Northern Africa and the Middle East. Fire salamanders are one of the larger species of salamanders with yellow spots or stripes all over their black bodies.

They look strikingly beautiful. These European salamanders are often used for research and they also make great pets.

They behave well in captivity and breeding is not a problem with them. They have a healthy population and are listed as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List. Fire salamanders have several subspecies that have some characteristic differences.

But mostly they are ovoviviparous amphibians. Even though they might look like lizards, they are more closely related to frogs than reptiles.

If you want to read more interesting animal-related articles, please check out frilled lizard facts and poison frog facts.

Fire Salamander Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a fire salamander?

The fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) is a type of common salamander that is found throughout Europe. They are amphibians.

What class of animal does a fire salamander belong to?

The fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) belongs to the Amphibia class of the Animalia kingdom. (Genus - Salamandra).

How many fire salamanders are there in the world?

The exact number of fire salamanders in the world is unknown. However, they are not an endangered species and are pretty abundant in the forests of Europe. There are a few subspecies of fire salamanders found throughout the forests of Central Europe.

Where does a fire salamander live?

Fire salamanders are largely found in the deciduous forests of central Europe. The majority of the amphibian species can be found in Germany, Hungary, and Poland. But some fire salamanders have also been found in the Middle East and northern Africa.

What is a fire salamander's habitat?

The fire salamander habitat is the Central European deciduous forests. This is because they like to hide under the fallen branches and leaves.

They also find crevices and rocks to hide under. They also live near streams or sources of clean water because that helps with their reproduction process. Clean water is important for fire salamander larvae.

They are very good are hiding and are rarely seen outside. They are mostly active during the nights but they are also known to come out during rainy days. These amphibians breathe through their skin and it can be really harmful to them to live at a high temperature.

They also need moisture in the air to survive. They also hibernate during the colder months of winter.

Who do fire salamanders live with?

Fire salamanders are shy amphibians that mostly hide during the day. They are timid creatures and can do well with others of their species in captivity. But they need a place to roam freely. In the wild, they are not very social and spend most of their time in hiding.  

How long does a fire salamander live?

Fire salamanders are known to live for 10-12 years in the wild. In captivity, the fire salamander life cycle is longer, and they can live up to 20 years.

How do they reproduce?

The fire salamander has a very interesting reproduction process. They mate once a year. The males produce a spermatophore that has a sperm packet.

They leave it on the ground and coax the females to draw the sperm packet inside her body. The eggs are then fertilized internally. When these eggs hatch inside her body, the female deposits the newborn larvae into a clean water body near her.

Fire salamanders are ovoviviparous for the most part, but there are two species of them called bernardezi and fastuosa that are viviparous. The fire salamander is an amphibian that spends its larvae form in water. They become terrestrial after their metamorphosis.

What is their conservation status?

Fire salamanders are listed as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List. But their numbers have been decreasing because of a deadly fungus that affects their skins.

Since they breathe through their skin, they have fallen prey to this fungus. Pollution and deforestation are also some other reasons why they are decreasing in numbers. But since the fire salamander is a popular animal in the pet trade and research, they are not a threatened species yet.

Fire Salamander Fun Facts

What do fire salamanders look like?

Fire Salamanders are very beautiful creatures.

Fire salamanders are one of the most common species of salamanders found in the Central European deciduous forests. These fantastic creatures have a lot of myths attached to them.

Fire salamanders are the largest species in the Salamandridae family. This amphibian is about 6-10 in (15-25 cm) long and weighs about 0.03-0.06 lb (18-30 g).

Sexual dimorphism is the common norm in them but females can be a little bit larger than males at times. They are easily recognizable as they have a black body with yellow and orange spots all over them.

The underside of their belly is dark grey and they have fewer spots in that area. They have stout legs and their bodies are longer than their tails. They might look like reptiles, especially lizards, but they are amphibians that are closer to frogs.

They have several subspecies with slightly different features. Fire salamanders have wet skin and they breathe through their skin.

Some subspecies have yellow stripes instead of spots. A few fire salamanders have been known to be completely black as well but they are extremely rare.

How cute are they?

Fire salamanders are a very cute species of amphibians. Their skins are usually black with yellow spots. They might look like reptiles, but they are actually amphibians and they do not have claws or scales like other reptiles. Fire Salamanders do pretty well in captivity and they are usually good pets.

How do they communicate?

Fire salamanders are not very communicative creatures. Unlike frogs, they do not tend to vocalize a lot. They rarely make noises. Mostly they communicate through smells and chemicals. They use their poison to ward off predators. Their color is also something that helps them keep predators at bay.

How big is a fire salamander?

The fire salamander is one of the larger Salamander species. This amphibian is usually 6-10 in (15-25 cm) long.

But some of them can even go up to 12 in (30 cm) in length. The average size between male and female fire salamanders is quite similar. But on average, females are a little larger than the males of the species.

How fast can a fire salamander move?

Commonly, salamanders do not move very quickly. That is also the case for fire salamanders. They crawl very slowly but can crawl fast when faced with danger. They mostly spend their days under rocks and leaves. However, while catching prey, they can move faster.

How much does a fire salamander weigh?

The average fire salamander weighs about 0.03-0.05 lb (18-22 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are not any specific names for male and female fire salamanders. So, both the males and females of the species are called fire salamanders.

What would you call a baby fire salamander?

Newborn fire salamanders are called larvae.

What do they eat?

The fire salamander's diet consists of insects, slugs, and earthworms. Since these creatures are abundant in the areas where fire salamanders are found, they do not have a problem catching prey.

Are they poisonous?

Fire salamanders have poison glands that help them protect themselves from predators in the wild. They can spray poisonous liquids from the glands located behind their eyes.

However, fire salamander poison is not harmful or deadly to humans. However, since they do exude toxins, it is better to not handle them regularly with bare hands. It can cause skin irritations.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, fire salamanders make great pets. They are very popular in the pet trade. Their breeding process is simple and they eat pretty well too.

They eat worms, slugs during summer and during winter, wax worms and crickets can be bought to feed them. But as they are primarily terrestrial animals and like to hunt in a large area, they are more comfortable if their habitat in captivity matches their wild habitat. They need larger enclosures.

They also need a cool temperature to live in. But they are easy to tame, shy creatures.

So, they do not present a problem for people who own them. But if you handle fire salamanders with bare hands, you might get mild skin irritation from their poisonous liquid. The human hand also can irritate the salamander skin so they should be handled infrequently.

Did you know...

Contrary to popular belief, fire salamanders do not like heat. They prefer cool, wet spaces with a lot of shade.

The fire salamander has poisonous glands that are not deadly to humans but can irritate our skin. In reality, if the fire salamanders are touched too much by us, it can be really harmful to them.

They breathe through their skins and they have extremely sensitive skin that reacts to the slightest chemical and thermal change. So it is better to not hold them unless necessary.

Fire salamanders are predominantly nocturnal animals, and they like to hide under rocks and logs in the day.

While growing up, fire salamanders shed their skin. They eat the skin they shed afterward.

Why are fire salamanders associated with fire?

The fire salamander myth is largely the reason why these creatures are associated with fires. It was believed that salamanders could withstand heat and fire as they were often seen crawling out of flames.

This was because the white substance they exude to keep their skin moist was believed to be fireproof. But actually, they hid under the logs that were collected to light fires and the salamanders will run out when their skin came into contact with heat.

What do fire salamanders smell like?

Fire salamanders are known to exude a vanilla-like smell when they are handled roughly.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other amphibians including common newt, or marine toad.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Fire salamander coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Deeti Gupta picture

Deeti GuptaBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

A detail-oriented fact-checker with a research-oriented approach. Devika has a passion for creative writing, she has been published on multiple digital publishing platforms and editorials before joining the Kidadl team. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from St.Xavier's College, Deeti has won several accolades and writing competitions throughout her academic career.

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