Salamander wont eat

ellarev

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its been extremely cold where I live recently so fire wood was collected from up in the mountains and brought to my property to use. a day or so later I noticed a small salamander near the pile of wood. after doing research, I found out it was an eastern red backed salamander.they live near streams/ bodies of water and there is none near I live so that's how I know it came from the wood. after doing even more research I found out that they can live in wood holes/ cracks so that just proves that the lil guy came from the logs. sense he would not have survived outside, I brought him in and made him an enclosure with damp paper towels, pebbles, a small pot as a cave, and even a wet silk plant to keep the moisture up. I did not feed him the first day because he was stressed. I learned online that the first few days in a new enclosure salamanders won't eat, so that made me less worried. its been a week or so? (I'm not sure exactly) and he still won't eat . I'm feeding him earthworms but he is not showing any interest at all. ive made sure they are small enough for him and still alive and moving but he shows no interest AT ALL. I'm not sure how much longer he will survive without food considering how small and slI'm he is. I can't go to the pet store to get small crickets because of covid-19. what should I do?!
 

EmbersToAshes

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My pet store is still open and selling crickets, but it's probably different everywhere. He's probably super scared and won't eat for a while regardless. Little dude just got abducted by aliens! I would try to increase his humidity and set his enclosure up a little more natural for him.
They like moist dirt to dig in, so I would go outside and get some from a wooded area where people don't use any fertilizers or pest control chemicals. While you are out there get him some moss. It's very good at holding humidity. He would probably also appreciate a little bit of leaves and bark from a hardwood tree for hiding. Do not use pine or ceder or anything sappy. Give him a large but fairly shallow water dish and keep it flooded, making the dirt kind of muddy around it. Mist the tank at least once a day to keep the humidity high. It might be a while before he settles in. They can go a lot longer than you think without eating. If possible I would release him back to his natural habitat when the weather is a bit warmer
 

saltwater60

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This salamander likely won’t do week in captivity. I’d try to let it go if possible. Not sure where you live. Also maybe illegal to keep it in your state.
Make sure you’re using treated water or bottled spring water. Any chlorine or chemicals will end its life quickly.
Earth worms and small beetles are probably good foods for them. The earthworms will have to be very small though.
Add some moss and leaf litter to the habitat. Also spray it down daily or every other day to simulate rain.
 

EmbersToAshes

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That set up is much better. Some moss and leaves would be good if you can find some. The moss will live as long as you are keeping the humidity proper. Make sure the container has plenty of ventilation. I usually cut holes on both sides and cover them with screen. You could also poke a million little holes with a thumbtack but however you do it make sure there is cross ventilation to prevent the moist enclosure from getting moldy and the air from becoming stagnent. You may want to add some isopods for a clean up crew, but hopefully you won't be keeping him that long. I probably should have mentioned in my first post that yes, it is most definitely illegal to keep native wildlife. On top of that many salamander species are endangered Wich makes it especially bad. All the more reason to release him back where he came from when possible. I would defenantly check out your states herpetological society as mentioned. It is a great resource and also features a taxonomy key to make sure you properly identified the species.

Happy herping!
 

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