Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra)

 

Yesterday I was leading a hike in the mountains surrounding the UNESCO world heritage site called “Devil’s Town” in southern Serbia. On the way up this particularly steep hill, we found two dead Fire Salamanders, both looking like victims of a car. They were about 100 meters apart. I stopped and took a photo of this one. 

 

The Fire Salamander in my Hand

The Fire Salamander in my Hand

They are quite common in Europe, although most of the races have yellow spots instead of orange like this specimen. The orange dots have glands that secret a toxin. It is a protection mechanism. In Serbian they are called Šareni daždevnjak.

There are two cool facts I learned abou them while identifying it on the internet. The first is that they live an extremely long time for an amphibian. One lived in a German natural history museum for over 50 years. The second is it is reported that the Slovenian use them to make Salamander Brandy, which is supposed to give the drinker a psychedelic experience. 

It was sad to see two of them as road kill. It did however, give me a chance to see one and learn a bit more about them.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s