This is my skinny Fire Salamander. He came to me a month or two ago, pretty skinny, but with a great appetite. He came with his whole tank set up and, since it was nice, I left it as it came. After weeks of feeding him all the crickets he could possibly eat, he still hadn’t fattened up. I hadn’t actually seen him eat; I just poured the crickets in, and they disappeared.
After weeks of insects disappearing and no change in his weight, I decided to hand feed him some worms from my garden. He readily took them from my hand, further confusing me. How could such a voracious salamander not be gaining any weight? Especially after dumping dozens and dozens of insects in his enclosure, and all of them disappearing quickly.
As I was hand feeding him another worm, this second Fire Salamander… a fat second salamander… waddled out of the foliage in the cage, as if to say “Hey, where are my worms?”
I was floored. I’m pretty sure I made a weird noise in my excitement. I somehow scared the cat, anyhow.
The fat salamander cleared up the mystery pretty quickly. The fatter one is also bigger all around, making it easier for her to eat all the food. So that’s why the little guy is in a jelly jar with worms. In addition to their regular feedings, I also take the little guy out and give him a little extra so he can gain some weight. It’s already helping. Soon they’ll both be fat little Fire Salamanders. Hopefully he’ll be able to compete better for food once he’s back to the correct weight, but I’ll probably have to continue giving him a little extra for a while.
Although it’s not the clearest picture of the smaller Fire Salamander, I couldn’t pass this last one up. Here’s the little guy with a mouth full of worms. Look at that little chin bulging.