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A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California







Salamander Behavior and Life History - Feeding and Predators

 









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Feeding Behavior
       
An adult Central Long-toed Salamander eats an earthworm. An adult Central Long-toed Salamander eats an earthworm. An adult Central Long-toed Salamander eats an earthworm. An adult Central Long-toed Salamander eats an earthworm.
An adult Central Long-toed Salamander eating an earthworm. An adult Central Long-toed Salamander eating a cricket.
Rough-skinned Newts Rough-skinned Newts Video Rough-skinned Newts
Max Kelley found this adult California Giant Salamander eating a large rodent, possibly a Wood Rat, one late November day. In this picture, only the rodent's long tail is still visible.  © Max Kelley
Several breeding adult Rough-skinned Newts in a breeding pond, lunge at the eggs of another amphibian, probably Northwestern Salamander or Western Long-toed Salamander eggs. It looks like they are trying to eat the eggs, but it does not appear that they are succeeding. Max Kelley found this adult California Giant Salamander eating a large rodent, possibly a Wood Rat, one late November day. In this picture, only the rodent's long tail is still visible.  © Max Kelley

California Newt California Newt California Giant Salamander California Giant Salamander
These California Newts appear to be stretching an earthworm and struggling to see which one gets to eat it.  © Scott Futral

Sub-adult California Giant Salamander eating a Banana Slug in San Mateo County
© Zach Lim
California Giant Salamander California Giant Salamander California Giant Salamander California Giant Salamander
This California Giant Salamander was found on a hiking trail in Marin County on a foggy mid May afternoon wet with fog drip. It was observed for about 20 minutes as it slowly attempt to eat the banana slug. Banana slugs are very sticky and their slime causes numbness, which makes it difficult to swallow them. © Bill West

California Newt California Newt California Newt Suzanne Cogen © found this California Giant Salamander eating a Banana Slug at 3 PM in mid December in Sonoma County.
Adult newt eating a very large worm in Mendocino County © Amelia True Suzanne Cogen © found this California Giant Salamander eating a Banana Slug at 3 PM in mid December in Sonoma County.
Nancy Gribler discovered this large adult California Giant Salamander eating a Banana Slug one night in her back yard. © Nancy Gribler Coastal Giant Salamander Coastal Giant Salamander Coastal Giant Salamander
Nancy Gribler discovered this large adult California Giant Salamander eating a Banana Slug one night in her back yard.
© Nancy Gribler
Adult Coastal Giant Salamander eating a Banana Slug © Grayson B. Sandy
California Tiger Salamander Imitator Salamander Imitator Salamander Imitator Salamander
In this video, California Tiger Salamander larvae swim around a murky pool, rising to the surface for a gulp of air and to try to eat Sierran Treefrog tadpoles, with no success.

This adult Imitator Salamander regurgitated a worm after it was discovered.
Coastal Giant Salamander neotene CA Tiger Salamander Egg    
A mature Coastal Giant Salamander larva  regurgitating a worm This mature California Tiger Salamander larva is eating a Sierran Treefrog tadpole. © Mark Gary    
     
Salamander Predators
       
Northern Pacific Rattlesnake Northern Pacific Rattlesnake Northern Pacific Rattlesnake California Tiger Salamander larva is caught by Giant Water Bug nymph
Oregon Gartersnake, Thamnophis atratus hydrophilus, eating a neotenic
Coastal Giant Salamander
, Dicamptodon tenebrosus, in Trinity County. © Ben Witzke
Salamander larvae are preyed upon by vertebrates and also some non-vertebrates: this California Tiger Salamander larva is caught by Giant Water Bug nymph, (Lethocerus sp.) which will kill it by injecting a digestive saliva then sucking out the liquefied remains.  © Joseph E. DiDonato
Santa Cruz Gartersnake eating a newt. Santa Cruz Gartersnake eating a newt. San Bernardino Ring-necked snake eating an adult Arboreal Salamander San Bernardino Ring-necked snake eating an adult Arboreal Salamander
Two views of a Santa Cruz Gartersnake eating a newt. The newt is either a
Rough-skinned Newt
or a Coast Range Newt. Both are extremely poisonous to most animals, including humans, but the gartersnake is immune to this poison.
© Odophile.com
An adult San Bernardino Ring-necked snake eating an adult
Arboreal Salamander
in Los Angeles County © Jonathan Benson
Coastal Giant Salamander neotene Coastal Giant Salamander neotene Rough-skinned Newts  
These two Coastal Giant Salamanders were found locked in combat beside a coastal creek in Humboldt County in mid July in what is probably an attempt by the large salamander to eat the smaller salamander. The smaller salamander bites onto the large salamanders leg while the large salamder bites onto its middle.
© Alyssa Semerdjian
This adult Rough-skinned Newt (shown in water) is being attacked by a predatory diving beetle. © Lou Silva  




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