Are Salamanders Poisonous?


Salamanders are amphibians with bright colors. They are animals with short-bodied, moist skin which enable them to breathe as they don’t have lungs, and four legs. Insects, snails, worms, and other small animals even of their own species are meals for salamanders. They absorb water through their skin like other amphibians. They also need a moist habitat.

People, because of their movement and appearance, confuse them for lizards. They are different species of salamanders such as fire salamanders, green salamanders, marbled salamanders, tiger salamanders, and many others. They all have poisonous toxins.

Salamanders fear and run away from humans. If they are not touched or handled, they are harmless.

Are Salamanders Poisonous?

Salamanders are found close to water bodies and forests. These creatures through their skin secrete poison to prevent their predators. They are of different species, and the level of their toxicity differs. The tiger salamander, fire belly newt, and marbled salamander are popular species with less toxic sides and they are kept as pets.

Salamander species like rough-skinned newt, Sierra newt, and black salamander should be all means be avoided because they are more poisonous. Perhaps, you found them in their natural habitats, and you do not know the species, avoid handling them. Most people, though, may sometimes mistake salamanders for lizards.

However, there is a slight difference between salamanders and lizards. Salamanders have moist and smooth skin while lizard’s skin is rough and scaly 

Is Ok To Touch Salamanders?

It is best to look and don’t touch salamanders as all species secrete poisons through their skin. 

A tiny layer on their body is formed when they secrete toxins. Age and species of salamanders determine the level of toxicity.  Adult salamanders secrete lesser levels of toxins from their skin than the young ones, which means the young salamanders are more toxic than their adults.

Wash your hand thoroughly and avoid touching your face, mouth, or any other part of your body, if you touch or come in contact with poisonous species of salamanders. Salamander poisons can result in diarrhea, vomiting, fever, weakness, and other health issues if ingested.  The ingested poison can even lead to the death of humans in severe cases.

Salamanders, on the other hand, do not like to be touched as they have sensitive skins which are quite absorbent.  They can be harmed when you touch them with a hand that has moisture like salts, oil, and lotion. Wear gloves before touching them in case you want to remove them from harm’s way.

How Do I Know A Poisonous Salamander?

It is recommended to avoid picking up or touching salamanders because they are all venomous by nature. Although salamanders are frequently kept as pets, they are only kept for display and do not need regular care.

Similar to many other poisonous animal species, salamanders have a variety of vivid colors and patterns to alert predators to their toxicity. Bright colors are typically a deterrent to predators since they indicate the presence of a venomous organism.

There a four species of the Taricha genus, which range from Alaska to Baja California, which is said to be the four salamander species that are considered to be the most poisonous. These species possess tetrodotoxin, a biotoxin that can be extremely harmful even in minute amounts.

The rough-skinned newt, California newt, Sierra newt, and red-bellied newt are all members of this genus. Although it might be challenging to tell one species from another, this deadly genus is easily recognized by its slender, light, or dark brown-black bodies and tails with orange to fiery red underbellies and primarily yellow eyes. Although there are little variances between each species, such as differences in skin texture and eye color, it is better to avoid salamanders with these characteristics if you locate them near the western coast.

Fire salamander is another species that is dangerous. These species’ bite is not poisonous but secretes tins that are poisonous as they possess poisonous glands. It results in muscle convulsion which is very painful when the poison gains access to the bloodstream. Black salamander pet is a species that can be very poisonous to pets when consumed.

Can Salamander Bite?

Yes, salamanders can bite and inspect their non-confrontational and shy nature. Though some salamanders do not have teeth, they swallow their meals while some have small tiny teeth that they can chew with.

 They normally prefer to run and hide when threatened instead of biting. When threatened, salamanders typically avoid biting and instead flee and hide. 

The majority of the time salamanders bite people, it’s because they mistake our fingers for food and bite them. However, their bite will not do much harm and will feel like being poked by tiny needles. The bite of larger salamander species, such as the Japanese giant salamander, may be larger, but it won’t be particularly deadly. If you get bitten by a salamander, gently wash the area with warm water and use an ointment to prevent infection.

Are Salamanders Dangerous To Pets And Humans?

Yes, all salamanders are poisonous to pets and humans, thou the level of their toxins differs with species. In hunting for food, your pet dog and cats can consume salamanders that are kept as pets. Pet salamanders possess little amount of toxins that can be harmful to pets when consumed. 

It’s always a good idea to be knowledgeable about the appearance and toxicity of various salamander species if you live in a region where they are common. Even if you don’t have a salamander in your home, your dog or cat might run into one while out in the wild. 

There are several symptoms to watch out for if you think your pet may have ingested a salamander. Your pet may have consumed a toxic salamander if it begins to foam at the mouth, exhibits signs of weakness, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or looks to be experiencing muscle contractions.

Salmonella is the most common disease that can result from having contact with a salamander. It results in fever, weakness, nausea, weight loss, and even death. Contact a vet when you notice these symptoms in your pets. 

How Long Can Salamanders Live?

In the wild salamanders live about 10 to 20 years, depending on their species. They tend to live longer when kept as pets as they are more cared for and most of their predators are eliminated. Some species can live up to 50 years, while others can live up to or more than 70 years.

Omls are species of salamander that are said to live longer than other species of salamander. Its maximum lifespan is over 100 years.

How Do I Get Rid Of Salamanders?

To get rid of salamanders if you want them out of your property or environment, you can use natural or organic repellent. 

Salamanders have a quick smell sensation and they don’t appreciate the odor of mothballs or electronic repellent. Buy and install electronic repellent and they will run away from there. You can prevent them from building a nest and laying eggs in your yard by scattering granules or repellent. Also, make sure you drain accumulated water that might make them feel comfortable for them to breed. 


In a nutshell, try all possible means to avoid handling or having contact with salamanders. Prevent your pets from consuming them as they cause various health problems.

If accidentally you come in contact with a salamander, wash your hands thoroughly before touching any part of your body. 

Take precautionary measures to get rid of them in your territory.

Written by Justin Michaels

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