Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra)
World wide Distribution: Widespread in Middle & Southern Europe, W Asia and NW Africa. Usually found between 300 – 2200m.
In Lebanon: Widely distributed except on the coastal strip. Favors forested areas and is seldom found far from water.
Behavior: Mostly nocturnal but can be found in the day time, particularly after rain. It feeds on earthworms, soft bodied insects and larvae and shelters under leaves and between stones and burrows.
With their bright colors and habit of crawling out of logs that had been put on the camp fire, the ancients thought this species lived in fire! Of course the opposite is true, as it needs damp conditions (as was provided by the logs before they were thrown on the fire). The bright colors are known to be a deterrent to predators warning this meal will taste bad!
Photos courtesy R. Sadek