Common fire salamander

Biology

This salamander is easily recognized by its black colour with yellow spots. Its skin has a toxic substance, samandarin, to protect it from predators. Mating takes place on land. Females give birth to tadpoles or sometimes small fully-formed salamanders.

Conservation

The main threats are habitat destruction and introduction of exotic species. The presence of the chytrid fungus, has been reported in some Portuguese and Spanish populations.

Curiosities

In the ancient times people believed that salamanders were born from fire, being immune to it. This might be related to the habit of many salamanders to hide inside logs. When placed into a fire, the salamander would escape from the log, leading to the belief that salamanders were created from flames.