Salamander – perfect autumn camouflage – v 3.0

Salamander – perfect autumn camouflage

Autumn is probably not the time most outdoor enthusiasts dwell on the creatures of the reptile and amphibian families.

But the one amphibian which maintains a relatively active lifecycle in the autumn is the salamander. 

Cooler temperatures are upon us and the signs of preparation for the winter season are all around and as the yellow leaves start to fall around the city they provide a perfect camouflage for the salamander.

Salamanders tend to prefer cooler, damper conditions than most reptiles and amphibians. In the spring, at the first hints of warmer days, salamanders can be seen racing towards their reproduction grounds, moving well before you would think of seeing cold-blooded creatures. Their love for this weather is just as verifiable in the autumn as they are moving towards their winter abodes and feeding in preparation for the long winter rest.


The skin lacks scales and is moist and smooth to the touch, except in newts of the Salamandridae, which may have velvety or warty skin, wet to the touch. The skin may be drab or brightly colored, exhibiting various patterns of stripes, bars, spots, blotches, or dots. Male newts become dramatically coloured during the breeding season.

Although many salamanders have cryptic colors so as to be unnoticeable, others signal their toxicity by their vivid coloring. Yellow, orange, and red are the colors generally used, often with black for greater contrast

Salamanders have thin skins and soft bodies, and move rather slowly, and at first sight might appear to be vulnerable to opportunistic predation. However, they have several effective lines of defense. Mucus coating on damp skin makes them difficult to grasp, and the slimy coating may have an offensive taste or be toxic. When attacked by a predator, a salamander may position itself to make the main poison glands face the aggressor. Often, these are on the tail, which may be waggled or turned up and arched over the animal’s back. The sacrifice of the tail may be a worthwhile strategy, if the salamander escapes with its life and the predator learns to avoid that species of salamander in the future