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Black-bellied Salamander (Desmognathus quadramaculatus)
Black-bellied Salamanders are brown to black in color, often with a row or two of white spots down their backs. They have two rows of bumps down their back. This species typically grow to about 6-8 inches long. They can live between 8-12 years if properly cared for.
Habitat and Tank Requirements:
This species is native to the Appalachian mountains of the US.
This species can live in a semi-aquatic. Because their natural habitat is streams, you should use a filter, preferably one that trickles over rocks. Use common sense if picking out a filter: a pump that is too small will leave the water dirty, while a too-powerful pump with filter out the microorganisms needed to maintain a healthy pH. They prefer cold water, somewhere between 45-68° F Misting the tank with water every day or two is also recommended.
Use mulch or moss as a substrate to retain moisture and deep enough that your salamander can burrow in it. Add plants, woods, or rocks for them to climb and hide in. A 15-20 gallon tank can house 1 or 2 adults.
These animals are comfortable in temperatures ranging from 68-75° F. They do not need special lighting.
Be sure there are no openings through which your salamander can escape. A hole large enough for it to stick its head through is big enough for it to escape.
Diet: Black-bellied Salamanders are mainly insectivorous and will feed on small crickets, mealworms, wax worms, earthworms, and any other insects small enough for them to ingest. It is recommended that food be dusted with calcium to prevent bone softening.
Allow your salamander time to become accustomed to its new home before handling them extensively. Handling them little by little over a period of time lets the animal get used to you and reduces stress.