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Amphibians as Pets – Common Frogs, Toads and Salamanders of the USA

Spottted Salamander

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Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  This article covers the care of several native amphibians that live in close proximity to people.  As a result, they sometimes wind up in yards, basements, window wells and other such places.  Most are also seen in pet stores.  While they can make interesting, long-lived pets, all have specific needs that must be met if they are to thrive.  The following information will give you an idea of what is involved caring for amphibians as pets; please see the articles linked below for more detailed information, and post any questions you may have.  If you find an injured animal, or wish to learn how to become a wildlife rehabilitator, please see this article.

It is important to bear in mind that captive-born specimens make far better pets than wild individuals, and that many species are protected by law. Read More »

Newts as Pets – an Introduction to their Care and Feeding

Eastern NewtHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Although my interests are wide, newts and salamanders have always held a special fascination for me.  Beginning in childhood, I sought to keep and breed as many species as possible, and I focused on their husbandry and conservation when I entered the zoo field.  In time, I wrote a book summarizing my experiences (please see below).  The passage of so many years has not dulled my enthusiasm for these fascinating amphibians, and I can highly recommend them to both beginning and advanced herp keepers.

The following information may be applied to the care of Japanese Fire-Bellied, Eastern, California, Ribbed and Paddle-Tailed Newts, as well as most others that appear in the pet trade.  Please write in for detailed information on individual species.

Newts as Pets

An ability to thrive on commercial pellets distinguishes newts from other amphibians, and endears them to folks who prefer not to handle live insects.  All are brilliantly-colored, active by day, and usually live well in groups at average room temperatures.  Most become quite tame over time, and will even accept food from your hand.  Several California Newts in my collection have lived to age 20, and others seem bent on exceeding that. Read More »

The Best Diet for Captive Newts and Mexican Axolotls

Tritirus mamoratusHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  I usually hesitate to recommend an “all purpose” diet for any group of creatures, as even slight differences between species can be greatly affect their nutritional needs.  However, long experience with many newts has led me to a diet that works well for nearly all those that one might encounter.  The following feeding recommendations can applied to Eastern Spotted, Ribbed, Japanese Fire-Bellied, Alpine, Paddle-Tailed, Crested and Marbled Newts, as well as to Mexican Axolotls.  With a bit of fine-tuning, other species can be accommodated as well…please write in if you need further information.

Basic Diet

Newt-feeding is simplified by the fact that nearly all species will take non-living foods…this is in sharp contrast to terrestrial salamanders, which generally consume live prey only. Read More »

The Eastern Newt – the Many Subspecies and Hybrids of a Popular Pet – Part 2

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Quite a few subspecies of the Eastern Newt (Notopthalmus viridescens) have made their way into the pet trade.  All are hardy, interesting and possible to breed in captivity.  Please see Part 1 of this article for information on their care and feeding.  The following descriptions and habitat information should help in identifying your newt.  However, natural and captive-generated hybrids can complicate the process – please write in if you need assistance. Read More »

New Edition of Newts and Salamanders, A Complete Pet Owner’s Manual, is Published

Barred Tiger SalamanderHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  I’ve recently finished writing a revision of my 1997 book Newts and Salamanders and would like to introduce it here and to thank everyone for their past support and kind comments.

Care and Natural History

Although technically a captive care manual, I’ve included a great deal of natural history information garnered from a lifetime of working with amphibians as well as research updates from technical and popular journals.  Captive breeding is stressed, with specific advice given for each species covered.  Read More »

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