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What Do Salamanders Eat?

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Salamanders, lizard-like looking amphibians, are interesting animals that inhabit different areas around the world. They spend almost an equal amount of time living in water and on land, and their babies look similar to tadpoles as they are hatched out of their eggs in the water in much the same way. These curious animals are very interesting to learn about, especially the different types of food they eat. Salamander food depends on the species and location of the salamander, but their food habits are closely related, as you will see as you read below.

Spotted salamanderThe spotted salamander. ©NHFG  Victor Young photo.

Spotted salamanders

Spotted salamanders, like most salamander species, are named because of their physical appearance. Spotted salamanders also follow a type of diet that all salamanders eat, a diet consisting of meat, no plants. For the spotted salamanders, the most popular food comes from the insect community. They typically choose to eat crickets, centipedes, worms, and more.

Redback salamanders

Redback salamanders will go a long way to obtain their food. They have the ability to climb up trees and other plants to chase after their meal. For the most part, redback salamanders prey on small invertebrates for food, and they are able to digest them fairly easily because of their size.

Redback salamanderThe redback salamander. Picture by George Grall (Nat Geo).

Blue-spotted salamanders

Another colorfully-named salamander, the blue-spotted salamander, likes to eat from the insect community too, like the spotted salamander. Their food of choice is usually worms or slugs, and sometimes, if they are in area where these bugs are available, the blue-spotted salamander will go after the bugs known as potato bugs and pill bugs.

Eastern Red spotted Newt

The eastern red spotted newt carries the identification of newt because it is a type of salamander that lives in the water. Their food has to come entirely from underwater, and those food items are usually the eggs of amphibians or insects, and sometimes they will go after leeches or worms that find their way into the water.