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The fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) is probably the best-known salamander species in Europe. It is black with yellow spots or stripes to a varying degree. They prefer deciduous forests, since they like to hide in fallen leaves and around mossy tree trunks. Whether on land or in water, fire salamanders are inconspicuous. They are active in the evening and the night, but on rainy days they are active in daytime as well.
Their diet consists of various insects, spiders, earthworms and slugs, but they also occasionally eat newts and young frogs. The fire salamander can grow to be 15–25 cm long. The coloured portions of the animal’s skin usually coincide with poison glands. Adults are able to exude toxic skin secretions such as the neurotoxic alkaloid Samandarin. This alkaloid causes strong muscle convulsions and hypertension combined with hyperventilation in all vertebrates.
Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra), Dirfi Mountain, Evia Island, Greece, Europe
Nikon D700, Nikkor 70-200 mm at 200 mm, 1/160 sec at f/ 5.6, ISO 1250
© Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos Photography. All Rights Reserved.
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