Almost all salamanders like to eat meat with the exception of one species; Santa Cruz climbing salamander. Santa Cruz also feeds on fungi apart from meat. Salamanders usually take on animals that can be easily caught. At times the prey is too small to be seen with a naked eye. Salamanders eat invertebrates that live around them such as leaf litter and forest debris.
Salamanders employ a fairly simple technique to hunt prey in that they crawl over the forest debris and eat every invertebrate come in their way.
What Do Salamanders Eat
Salamanders are opportunistic feeders as they seldom rely on specific food. They will grab anything that comes in their way provided the size is small.
Japanese Giant Salamander (Andrias japonicus) predominantly feeds on small mammals, aquatic insects, crabs, fish, and amphibians.
Small species such as Dusky salamanders are very fond of eating flies, beetle larvae, springtails, earthworms, grasshoppers, mites, leafhoppers, and spiders.
Gold-striped salamander has a long tail which it throws out to catch small insects. It is found in Spain and Portugal. Terrestrial salamander attacks in such a quick moment that it can barely be seen with our naked eye. It only takes ten milliseconds to throw and bring back its tongue in its mouth.
Some small salamanders are known to feed on insect larvae and invertebrates including Daplmin water fleas.
Larval salamanders are known to eat themselves in captivity or when they’re present in large numbers.
Hellbender and aquatic giant salamanders primarily feed on crayfish, small salamanders, and fish. They ambush their prey from beneath the log or rock.
Big portions in America
Large land-dwelling salamanders generally take on larger victims such as earthworms while they also fancy eating small invertebrates. Pacific Giant salamanders are highly aggressive feeders and they eat slugs, worms, and other invertebrates. They also take down prey as large as shrews, mice, and amphibians. Sometimes it also includes other salamanders. Pacific giant salamander lives an absolute aquatic life and as they reach 30 cm in length, they eat large meals.
All lungless salamanders feed on small invertebrates while aquatic species eat insect larvae. Land salamanders mainly feed on wood lice, slugs, worms, and slugs. Woodland salamanders are found in holes underground, in crevices and they eat beetles, worms, and ants.
Many salamanders possess small pointed teeth which is why they rely on small invertebrates for their consumption.
An aquatic salamander does not have muscle in its tongue and thus it catches its victim in a unique way. First it takes a piece of food and holds it inside its mouth and offers a sort of inertial feeding. Salamander moves its head vertically so as to draw water in and out of the mouth. As it turns out, salamander snaps its jaws to tear down the prey. Seconds later, it swallows the entire animal.