Posture :

About the attitude of the fire salamander there are certainly different views / opinions / possibilities and I can again only ask to send me reports or breeding successes, etc.. About the terrariums I have put a link in the navigation, because I would like to go into more detail about the construction and the basic facilities (size, etc.). Of course I would like to give also here on this side ( like also on all other ! ) the " newcomer " an understandable picture over all topics. Let's start with the temperatures.

Temperatures :

Temperatures should preferably not exceed the limit of 20 degrees. In cool basement rooms, these temperatures are almost never exceeded, so this attitude is preferable. If nevertheless places in the apartment should be chosen ( terrariums ), so they should be in the shade and not be exposed to direct sunlight, because the temperatures in such a situation can quickly "accumulate" and so the whole terrarium would heat up. Since our native fire salamander is used to the temperatures of our latitudes, we have to consider the temperatures of the different seasons, if we want to achieve a breeding. However, we must always take as a basis the temperatures that prevail just in this season in the forest and there also in the shade. In conclusion, I would say that an attitude between spring - autumn should be approximately between 10 - 19 degrees, what the individual months bring yes.

Humidity :

To explain right at the beginning, the emphasis should be on " moisture ", not WET ! Accumulating wetness is absolutely unsuitable and brings diseases and losses in the long run. Let's take a look at the origin of our salamanders, namely the forest. What is the nature of the forest ? Of course, there is moisture, but no salamander would stay there voluntarily for a long time. A normal humidity however, is vital for these animals, so that they do not dry out. You can achieve this by spraying the terrarium every evening during the summer months and even then you can observe how the animals become active and often leave their hiding places to go in search of food. I also often spray my terrariums in addition during oppressive weather or thunderstorm atmospheres to mimic the actual weather conditions. It is very useful to keep different corners of the terrarium differently humid ( almost dry - humid - very humid ), so that the animals can choose for themselves where they want to be. This can be achieved by spraying the spots intensively or not at all. To get a feeling for the humidity ( beginner ) you can calmly touch the forest floor once and stick your fingers a little bit into the ground to get a feeling for the humidity. I prefer in my whole terrariums a bank region with water part that should be similar to a forest brook and is also very nice for the optics. However, here it is very important not to let STAUNÄSSE develop. Of course, it should also be mentioned that the air in these terrariums must circulate, otherwise too high humidity can occur. How to avoid this, I explain under the link Terrariums.

Setup :

Let's start with the soil substrate, where there are already many opinions. Again, I would be grateful to get many opinions on this subject. It is suitable here expanded clay, forest soil, clay,foam, seramis, coarse gravel, peat plates, although you should always keep one thing in mind. First we need to create a base / drainage of about 4 cm, which we lay with coarse gravel, expanded clay, seramis or foam ( please make your own choice, but clay granules wash out well before! ). From this moment we have a base / drainage, which ( almost ) can not rot and can store the water ( except gravel, serves only as a foundation ). On this base / drainage we can then put forest soil and moss ball ( or similar see above ) in combination and achieve a real forest soil ( please on the gravel necessarily forest soil and then possibly moss cushion ). This forest soil layer should be about 7 cm, so that the animals can also dig, which some do very gladly. Of course, EVERYTHING must always be replaced and renewed at regular intervals ( depending on feces / rotting / pollution ). Many terrariums of mine I have set up with a foam foundation, i.e. I got myself foam of about 7 cm thickness and had it cut to the appropriate size. On this foam I then put forest soil, or moss cushion (there are different types!) and keep the foam always to 2/3 wet.

With the moss please note that red forest ants can stay very gladly in this and can become the real plague in the terrarium for the animals ( they cannot flee in the terrarium before the ants! ), but also for the holders ( escape into the apartment / cellar ) ! The surface of the foam then has an ideal humidity and can pass it on to the forest floor, or the moss cushions. You should make sure to get the foam in a dark color ( brown / black ), so that it looks reasonably natural ( see terrariums ). The advantage is that you have very quickly cleaned his terrarium completely and washed out the foam very quickly and can use it again. As planting ( if desired ) one can use different ferns, or forest plants, whereby the nature conservation should not be disregarded ( rare plants & also moss ). For hiding places you should provide in any case , because the fire salamander is an animal that mostly hides during the day. For this you take old roots, pieces of bark (possibly overgrown with moss, looks very good!), or flat stones, which you put safely ! on top of each other and keep the hiding place only so high that the salamander can just crawl under it. Hiding places which are higher are usually not accepted gladly. If the salamander lacks hiding places, it feels too observed and cannot develop a natural way of life. The animals then often refuse food and become very thin. Of course, in such a case it is also necessary to clarify whether it may be a disease.

Lining :

the fire salamander is a predator and actually eats everything it can overpower. What do we find in the forest as food ? From spiders to earthworms, slugs, isopods, crickets, various insects, etc. Insects etc. Occasionally also beef strips can be fed from the tweezers, if the animals are tame and leave already with the rattling of the tweezers their hiding places. Of course, you should always make sure that our animals are always fed a varied diet, otherwise deficiency symptoms can occur. Therefore, you should also use a vitamin supplement at regular intervals and dust the food animals with it and then feed them. Adult animals should be fed about 3 times a week, whereas young animals should be fed more often depending on their hunger. If you don't have time to catch the food yourself, you have the possibility to get a selection of food animals in reptile / pet stores, hardware stores (Dehner, Hornbach etc.). In such cases, one should practice the above-mentioned dusting with build-up preparations much more often, but do not overdo it.

Light :

Artificial lighting in the form of spotlights ( warm light ) must be completely abandoned, because the heat accumulation at points and in general would inevitably lead to death ( heat accumulation in the terrarium ). If normal shady places in the apartment / basement are selected, this light is normally completely sufficient. If you still do not want to do without lighting, neon tubes should be installed at a suitable distance, but they should not burn the whole day (about 2 - 4 hours). Please note that fire salamanders are twilight / nocturnal and actually shy away from light, but should have a day / night rhythm.

Mating :

we have the luck, and our animals have mated after a sexual maturity of about 4 years ( in captivity usually earlier ) in the period from spring to autumn, so it went on like this : The male pursues very excited and attentive the female and then tries, with his head, to get under the body of the female. Quickly the male pushes himself up to the head of the female ( male lying down ), so that the top of the head of the male, now rubs against the bottom of the head ( throat ) of the female. Now the male clings with his front legs firmly to those of the female and carries this around for a whole time " piggyback". During this time the rubbing of the male's snout against the female's throat can be observed again and again. Now also under lateral movements the cloaca of the female is rubbed strongly and violently with the tail root of the male. This is followed by the deposition of a cone of jelly about 5 mm high, at the tip of which is the sperm. The male now turns sideways and the female can now slowly pick up this jelly cone by lowering it with her cloaca. In the following spring, about 40 to 70 larvae ( each 2 -3 cm long ) are deposited in slowly flowing forest streams ( see also Larvae ).

Wintering :

The basic requirement for breeding, is a species-appropriate hibernation and this should take place at temperatures from 0 degrees to + 5 degrees. Since I have the terrariums in the basement rooms and there the temperatures fall to a maximum of + 2 degrees, the animals can hibernate in their usual containers / terrariums.

In conclusion :

should be said that of course all terrariums whether newly purchased, or self-built, must always be optimally ventilated. Stagnant air should not be created in any case, otherwise the humidity would be too high and this would cause mold and rot. The fire salamanders have a very sensitive skin, this could lead to serious problems in the long run. Furthermore the terrarium should be absolutely escape-proof, because fire salamanders like to climb up the smooth panes when they are in a new environment, or just because. Thus, in an aquarium ( set up as a terrarium ), attention should be paid to an absolutely tightly closing lid frame ( inner part with gauze grid ), where the animals also can not escape sideways. For improvements / tips / own experiences, or just praise :-), I would be very grateful !


Salamandra salamandra Fire Salamander
Protection status/origin: WF,NZ Fire salamanders are subject to the BArtSchV
Occurrence: Balkan Peninsula, Carpathians and Central Europe
Habitat: Moist mixed deciduous forests at altitudes of 200 - 450 m
Size/Life Expectancy: Up to 25 cm and more / 50 years are guaranteed
Gender differences: Males are usually smaller or somewhat more delicately built than females. During the mating season the males have a strongly swollen cloaca
Special features: Grateful care and also suitable for the beginner, if among other things the criteria cleanliness, humidity and no too high temperatures are observed. Caution, the animals can climb up on smooth panes !
Posture: In summer, if possible, should not exceed 20 ° C. A winter rest around the 5 °C should be observed
Terrarium type: Terrarium with sufficiently large ventilation grids, since stagnant air and stagnant moisture are absolutely harmful to the animals
Lighting: Animals are crepuscular/nocturnal, therefore lighting can be omitted
Substrate: Drainage of about 5 cm height of seramis, gravel, stones or suitable foam. Above it forest soil and a thick layer of moss.
Drinking/bathing vessel: A small, easy to clean water tank, or water part should always be present, because the animals seek water not only during larval deposition ( females). Often the animals go there just to empty themselves.
Climbing opportunities: A layering of various moss mounds / roots / flat stones (2.floor) comes very close to the natural habitat
Cave/ Hideout: By layering moss and cleverly placing roots, you can create very good natural hiding places. However, the hiding places / crevices should be kept as flat as possible in height, otherwise they will not be accepted
Nutrition: The fire salamander is a predator and actually eats everything it can overpower. From spiders to earthworms, slugs, isopods, crickets, crickets, to various insects, etc. Insects etc. Fire salamanders should generally be fed a very varied diet to avoid deficiency symptoms.
Breeding/Raising: In Central Europe, fire salamanders set fully developed larvae with gill tufts in clear, slow-flowing forest streams or cool pools mainly in the period from March to June, which then metamorphose after a few months and only then become the actual " land salamander ". Sexual maturity occurs at 3 - 4 years.

Literature :

*Sebastian Steinfartz, Michael Veith, Diethard Tautz
Mitochondrial sequence analysis of Salamandra taxa suggest old splits of major lineages and postglacial recolonizations of Central Europe from distinct source populations of Salamandra salamandra
Sebastian Steinfartz,
Benedikt R Schmidt, Michael Schaub,Apparent survival of the salamander Salamandra salamandra is low because of high migratory activity
Tracing the first step to speciation: ecological and genetic differentiation of a salamander population in a small forest
Burkhard Thiesmeier Ecology of the fire salamander ( Picture " Distribution and habitat " )
Burkhard Thiesmeier & Hartmut GrevenBiology of Salamandra and Mertensiella
B.Thiesmeier & K. Grossenbacher: Handbook of the Reptiles and Amphibians of Europe - Caudates I
B.Thiesmeier & K. Grossenbacher: Manual of the Reptiles and Amphibians of Europe - Caudates II
Burkhard ThiesmeierThe Fire Salamander
Günther E. Freytag Fire Salamander and Alpine Salamander
Reiner Kleven : The land salamanders of Europe, part 1

13 comments about attitude

  1. Hello😊 some time ago I started a second Salamandra survey. Here is the evaluation of this survey. Thank you for participating🍀🤗
    And thank you Michael that I was allowed to run the survey through your site and you have supported me so much 🤗

    Salamandra Survey 2022
    Participant 13
    1. do you raise your larvae in groups or each larva by itself?
    5x groups 10 larvae
    Groups sorted by size
    Group 6 - 8 animals
    Group 3 - 4 animals
    Single or 10 larvae in a box 3 - 4l and daily water change
    Most common answer: group rearing, usually with up to 10 larvae per group
    2. at what water temperatures do you raise your larvae?
    10 - 12°c
    12 - 16°c
    2 - 21°c
    18 - 24°c
    5 - 30°c
    6x room temperature
    Most frequent answer: room temperature. The most common temperature for rearing is thus
    in this survey is around 20°c
    3. what water do you use for breeding? e.g. rainwater, tap water, etc.
    Tap water, rain water, distilled water
    Tap water/pond water
    Surface water from the garden PH 7 to 7.2
    2 days of stagnant tap water with Easy live additive
    3x Stale tap water
    4x Tap water
    Most frequent answer: tap water, often stale for one or two days

    4. how do you keep your larvae? e.g. in filtered aquariums.
    3x Filtered aquarium
    100x40cm aquarium with net boxes and internal filter.
    Without filter or aeration, shallow dish with large surface, water change 1/3 weekly
    2x Ikea box with small air pump
    2x daily water change
    Without filter
    Plastic box 40x30cm
    Without filter, only with air pump
    Braplast 3 ltr
    Most frequent answer: boxes/tins/trays without filter
    5. how are your larvae containers set up? e.g. with water plants, foliage etc.
    2x Without furnishing
    Without equipment possibly with plants
    With foliage
    Some oak leaves, otherwise sterile
    Foliage, branches
    Foliage, shards of clay and stones
    Oak leaves
    Foliage, stones, water plants
    Foliage, alder cones, aquatic plants
    oaks, beech leaves
    A stone
    A perforated brick
    Most frequent answer: With foliage, mostly beech and oak leaves

    6. how often and with what do you feed your larvae?
    Shiny worms every 2 days.
    Tubifex and shiner worms
    Shiny worms, Gammarus, Daphnia, Cyclops
    Every 2 days Tubifex, red mosquito larvae, small dendrobena (superworm breeding stock),
    mosquito larvae, enchytraea
    3x a week Tubifex, Daphnia
    enchytraea, brown shrimps, red mosquito larvae
    daily red mosquito larvae, artemia, small earthworm pieces
    Daily to every 2 days mosquito larvae
    Every 2nd day Daphnia, Tubifex, Red mosquito larvae, Enchytrae, Shiny worms
    Every 2 to 4 days Tubifex, enchytraea, daphnia, brown shrimp, mayflies
    Every or every 2 days Gammarus and other crustaceans, shiner worms, enchytraea
    Most common response: every 2 days with shiner worms, tubifex, enchytraea, red mosquito larvae,

    7. how do you arrange the landing of the larvae when they go into metamorphosis? e.g. i
    build an island out of stones so that the animals can go ashore
    Island made of filter mat
    Island made of filter mat or magnetic floating island, cover it with sphagnum moss and foliage
    and reduce the water level
    Foam island
    Island made of inclined stone slab
    I put them in a metamorphosis vessel with a little water and moss on both sides
    Aquarium in sloping position
    Box of larvae has a ramp to the land part
    Box in slant position, 5cm land part with wet leaves
    Faunabox in inclined position, on land part Sphagnum
    Bowl sloping, on land damp sand, foliage, moss, cork bark
    Shallow water with Egeria vines or Java moss
    Most frequent answer: Put the larvae container in sloping position to form a land part.

    8.Once the larvae are on land. In which containers do you put the freshly morphed young animals and
    how are they set up?
    Clay with hiding place
    Earth with moss and cork bark
    Like parent tank only smaller
    Also small plastic boxes, newspaper as substrate, clay as hiding place and a small
    clay bowl as watering place
    Samla box with lots of moss
    Metamorphosis box with moss and then damp Zewa or leaves with clay shard
    Cricket box with moss
    Small Ikea box with cork bark, moss, as ground filter mat
    Small fauna box with filter mat, sphagnum moss, leaves, bark, shallow water bowl
    tank 35x60cm, bottom ground of pine bark mulch 2 - 3cm, shallow water bowl, leaves and moss
    Plastic boxes, small glass aquariums, with moist clay bottom, fine pine, moss, cork bark,
    plastic flower coasters for bathing
    Braplast box with kitchen paper or clay, piece of brick and moss
    Most common answer: small plastic box with moss and piece of bark

    9.What and how often do you feed the juveniles on land?
    2-3 weekly
    Small crickets
    Crickets, isopods, drosophila, stuff that comes with the soil. If it is a large species,
    Earthworms and slugs
    2 x weekly small previously fed and prepared crickets, small Dendrobena, small
    wax maggots
    3 times a week crickets
    Suplemented crickets, small worms and wax grubs
    daily supplemented micro crickets, ovenfish, other small insects
    2x a week
    Daily small drosophilas, springtails, white isopods
    micro crickets pollinated with Herpetal Amphib every 3 days, springtails, Cuban and white isopods
    white isopods are always in the tank
    Micro crickets, Drosophilas
    2x per week micro crickets, small crickets and enchytraea
    Crickets, earthworms, waxworms, enchytraea
    Most frequent answer: 2x a week crickets of appropriate size, 4x earthworms many juveniles do you keep together on land in one tank and how big are the tanks for the juveniles?
    Containers for the juveniles?
    11 ltr, samla up to 6 juveniles.
    30 juveniles in a 80cm terrarium
    5 animals on 40x30cm
    6-8 young animals in braplast boxes and bigger ones in faunaboxes
    6 animals in a box 20x10x5cm
    Depends on the size of the animals
    5 per Faunabox 12x21cm
    5 - 10 animals on 35x60cm
    10 animals on 20x15cm
    10 - 15 animals on 30x20cm
    1 animal per container (braplast box)
    Most frequent answers: Mostly 5 animals per container. The container size varies here very much

  2. Hi😊

    I thought after the first Salamandra survey went so well, I'd just do another one. This time on the topic of larvae and juveniles.
    Have fun and thanks for participating😊👍🏻

    1. do you raise your larvae in groups or each larva by itself?

    2. at what water temperatures do you raise your larvae?

    3. what water do you use for breeding? e.g. rainwater, tap water etc.

    4. how do you keep your larvae? e.g. in filtered aquaria.

    5. how are your larvae tanks set up? e.g. with water plants, foliage, etc.

    6. how often and with what do you feed your larvae?

    7. how do you design the landing of the larvae when they go into metamorphosis? e.g. I build an island of stones so that the animals can go ashore.

    8. as soon as the larvae are on land. In which containers do you put the freshly morphed juveniles and how are they set up?

    9. what and how often do you feed the juveniles on land?

    10. how many juveniles do you keep together on land in one container and how big are the containers for the juveniles?

  3. Hi😊

    I thought I would do a little survey regarding Salamandra. I would just be interested in the personal opinion of other keepers of Salamandra species. Here are my questions:

    What do you think is the best substrate for Salamandra?

    How much space do you think Salamandra species need? Let's assume a group of 3 animals as an example.

    Do you think you can use sphagnum moss (which you can buy dry and soak in water) for Salamandra or is it best to use forest moss?

    What do you think is the best food for Salamandra larvae?

    What do you think is the best food for adult salamandras?

    How often do you think adult salamandras should be fed? For example: 2x in a week or once every 10 days.

    Thank you for your answers 😊

    With kind regards
    Stefan Greff

    • Hello Stefan,

      Thank you for your post here on my blog - very happy to answer your questions.

      The answers are all based on my personal experience, which I have gathered over many years.
      This does not mean that other methods used are wrong - just that in advance.
      Actually, you can also find the answers to all your questions already here on my blog 🙂

      1) as drainage I use foam and on this comes a really thick layer of moss on it (I think I was one of the first proponents of foam and have encountered harsh criticism at the beginning ... but over the years this has probably now been able to prevail - pictures of this you can find here drainage and setup salamander tank

      2) there is a formula from the DGHT that states the following:
      "There is a rule of thumb that says : " GL (T) in cm x 0,01 = Gf in sqm . That is, total length of the animal ( in cm x 0.01 ) = floor space of the terrarium for 2 animals ( in sqm ) ". ( Source / quote taken from General husbandry guidelines for newts and salamanders / DGHT)."... however, I have no idea whether these guidelines are still current or from when exactly they were. But ... as a small example: 3 infraimmaculatas are of course a different caliber than e.g. 3 atras. Some salamanders have a stronger urge to move, others not. In general, 80er all-glass tanks converted as a terrarium are very suitable here with me, as already mentioned in my link above.

      3) Forest moss and bsal - what is the current status here because of the risk of possibly introducing something? I also like to use Sphagnum moss and have had no problems with it so far - but my favorite is the forest moss.

      4) the larvae go to everything that moves ... the easiest are of course mosquito larvae, Tubifex and these of course always rinse well before. Gladly also Enchyträen & Artemiakrebschen ... in the summer in any case go pond and then of course look that no dragonfly larvae are with it - otherwise this is the best food, just with some circumstance connected. Here is a link to the larvae rearing

      5) I have in all tanks constantly redworms & woodlice ... these keep the tanks clean (this is not meant that you do not have to clean!) so there is always something to eat. In addition, crickets & crickets, wax moth larvae, which are fed but only targeted under supervision. Variety is also here the A and O ... in the summer meadow plankton of any kind ....

      6) as mentioned above is with me always something in live food in the terrarium available ... depending on the feeling and figure of the animals I feed something to it or not. But 2x per week comes in any case.

  4. Hello,
    Nice description of the attitude, however, I would still miss the high humidity to know what is too much.
    Otherwise, a pleasant amount of information is available.^^

  5. Hello,
    My class is participating in a competition and we are making an aquaponics system to help grow fire salamanders. Could I maybe do a little interview with you?

  6. Have had 1-2 fire salamanders living free for years, in winter through a drain in the rock somewhere behind.
    Last I had a couple and now I have 5 young in a large oval painter's bucket for a few weeks.
    I don't know what to feed them though.
    They are still lively.
    And thanks in advance.

  7. Hello
    Quick question: I have in my workshop a small
    Fire salamander found. About 8 cm. long with tail.
    I would like to keep it and raise it according to the above described
    The question is what I should feed the little one now.
    Can I also feed him small cut earthworms or something similar?
    or something similar.
    If I let him run now hatt him determined the next
    Bird in the beak.
    For a tip I would be very grateful.
    With kind regards

    Jürgen Mahle

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