Marbled salamanders are amphibians that are native to the eastern parts of the United States. They are typically found in damp forests, marshlands, and areas around rivers and lakes. Marbled salamanders are somewhat popular pet salamanders as they are attractive, moderately easy to obtain and not extremely expensive. They are a good choice for novice amphibian owners.
Marbled salamanders are shy, secretive and docile amphibians that are not given to biting or aggression. They are not pets that can be picked up and handled excessively; excessive handling can cause them severe stress and is dangerous to their health as they have very sensitive skin that can be damaged by the oils and salt on a person’s hands. Owners should wash their hands thoroughly before and after touching them. Due to their shy nature, Marbled salamanders tend to be rather solitary and spend a lot of their time hiding underground. Due to their small size and timid nature, they should not be housed with other animals as they may become prey. Marbled salamanders are diurnal, so are more active during the day than at night.
Marbled salamanders are very small amphibians that only require a 10-15 square feet aquarium. The focus of the aquarium should be more on length and width than on height. The Marbled salamander’s natural environment is damp marshlands, so owners will need to mimic their natural habitat as much as possible. The aquarium should have both a dry land area and a water area for the salamander to enjoy. The water area should only be 2-3 inches deep, and can contain some aquatic plants, rocks and even a floating log for the salamander to climb on. The dry area should be covered in about 4-5 inches of peat moss soil or dry coconut husks, since Marbled salamanders spend the majority of the time underground in burrows. The dry area should also include a hollowed log or reptile hide for the salamander to hide in. The temperature in the aquarium should be 65-70 Fahrenheit during the day and around 60 Fahrenheit at night. The temperature in the aquarium should not be allowed to rise above 72 Fahrenheit, as high temperatures can cause fungal diseases and may stress the salamander to the point of causing premature death. The humidity in the aquarium should be from 60-70 percent.
Appearance and Care:
Marbled salamanders are one of the smallest amphibians available as pets. Adult Marbled salamanders measure from 3-4 inches long. Females are only slightly larger than males. Marbled salamanders are black with either sliver-white or sliver-grey banding all over their bodies. Female Marbled salamanders have the sliver-grey banding, while male Marbled salamanders have the sliver-white banding.
The Marbled salamander is an insectivore. Most Marbled salamanders can be tricked into eating dead food; however, the majority prefer live food. Marbled salamanders eat small insects like mealworms, bloodworms, small crickets, chopped up earthworms, snails, and small spiders.
The Marbled salamander has a long life span compared to other small salamanders. The average life span of a Marbled salamander is around 8-10 years, but some healthy individuals have been known to live for 12-14 years. Unfortunately, most veterinarians do not have the training to treat a sick salamander, so getting medical care for them if they become ill can be extremely difficult
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