Fire salamander

Salamandra salamandra


The fire salamander reaches a body length of 14-20 cm. Their backs present black and yellow stripes, while ventral coloration may vary between shades of grey, black and brown with yellowish spots. The black and yellow colour pattern represents a warning signal indicating the presence of skin glands, secreting toxins, effectively protecting fire salamander against potential predators. As opposed to newts, the tail of the salamander is round and not laterally flattened. The preferred habitat of fire salamander is humid broadleaved forests with abundant freshwater creeks.

Did you know?

The fire salamander is an amphibian together with frogs and newts. Its reproduction is however distinctive from all other native amphibians in the fact that is occurs on land and not in the water. Moreover, female salamanders do not lay eggs in the water like frogs and newts, but rather give birth to 20-40 highly developed larvae, which are deposited in the water. These larvae initially breathe through gills and leave the water, breathing through fully formed lungs, as juvenile salamanders after about 3-4 months. Salamanders reach sexual maturity at the age of only 3-6 years. Fire salamanders are nocturnal and hide in cool and humid places during the day, including decaying wood, leave litter, mosses, stones or in dead tree stumps and earth or rock cavities.

 Because broadleaved forests are widely distributed in Luxembourg, the fire salamander is still quite common. Just like all other amphibians, the fire salamander is a protected species in Luxembourg.

Fire salamander
Foto: Alexandra Arendt