Jambo, backyard safari fans! Mr. Nature here, with the Red Salamander, Pseudotriton ruber ruber, a critter I haven’t seen since I was a boy.
This gorgeously-colored salamander was the crown jewel of salamander-collecting in my neighborhood. Only rarely did you find one. I remember vividly the time I rolled away a bit of telephone pole laid at the end of Maple Street to keep cars from rolling into the woods and getting stuck. And there it was: flaming red with black spots and a salmon-pink belly. I’m pretty sure that was the last time I saw one.
You can keep a Red Salamander in a terrarium with moss and leaf-litter, a bit of bark to hide under–which it will do most of the time–and plenty of nice soft grubs and caterpillars to eat. Don’t let the terrarium environment get hot or dry. Now that I’m all grown up, I recommend not capturing the salamander at all: just let him go about his business, and enjoy his handsome colors for a minute or two. They’re much larger than most of the other salamanders around here–about the size of a grown man’s finger.
Just another beautiful bit of God’s stuff.