Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Reptiles & amphibians

Luschan’s Salamander (Lyciasalamandra billae)

Description

Like all salamandrids, the Lyciasalamandra billae is provided with toxic skin secretions, and their bright colour serves as warning for the very poisonous substance. The luschan’s salamander colour varies across the body; the sides are characterised by a strong salmon-pink, meanwhile the rest of the body, including the snout, the limbs, the back and the tail, can go from orange to dark brown/black. The usual size for adults is 13cm.

Habitat

The luschan’s salamander originally comes from the Turkish region of Anatolia, and the nearby Greek islands. This species lives in limestone outcrops rich of rocks, and quite often in pinewoods.

Diet

This species diet varies according to age. The youngsters feed in microorganisms that naturally occur in water (e.g. daphnia). As they grow, the size of their preys grows as well, with their preferences moving more towards bigger microorganisms, worms and larvae. At around 2 months of age, their reach the normal adult diet, which is completely carnivorous, including fruit-flies, maggots, spiders, mosquitoes.

Protection Status

This species is listed as “Vulnerable” by IUCN Red List.

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