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Old 03.10.2008, 13:39
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Salamander lizards?

Hello,

Last night at about 02:00 am I went outside, and disocvered these strange "lizards". We live in La Tour de Peilz (outside Vevey, towards Blonay) in a modern home, slightly isolated amongst wine vineyards and surrounded by some pasture land.
It was cold and there was slight rain. There is no river or lake nearby.

These two looked more like salamanders, they moved quite slow and with effort, not in a rapid fashion as a normal lizard. They were hiding under the car, even though they actually approached me - it seems they were not afraid of us at all. The rain didn't seem to bother them either. They were quite big, 20cm with distinct yellow and black markings. I have never seen them before, this morning they were gone.
What are they?? Are they rare? The closest I came with Google are "newts", a salamander-type lizard.

Pictures attached.
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salamander-lizards-img_1926-reduced.jpg   salamander-lizards-img_1930-reduced.jpg   salamander-lizards-img_1927-reduced.jpg  
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Old 03.10.2008, 13:42
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Re: Salamander lizards?

They look cool! I don't think they are naturally occurring species in Switzerland. Maybe they had escaped from a collection?
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Old 03.10.2008, 13:48
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Re: Salamander lizards?

I was gonna say newts but they dont grow that big do they and they live in ponds and such. very very curious.
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Old 03.10.2008, 13:48
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Re: Salamander lizards?

Wikipedia reference-linkFire Salamander



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Old 03.10.2008, 13:52
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Re: Salamander lizards?

Fire salamenders, they are cute , but i am glad you didnt touch them)))
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Old 03.10.2008, 14:13
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Re: Salamander lizards?

Gooner, I think you've got it. Next time I see them I will feed them some nice, fat earthworms I am breeding for fishing.
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Old 03.10.2008, 14:20
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Re: Salamander lizards?

Thanks for the link Gooner. Do you know if there are also green and black versions? I'm almost sure that I spotted one of each of these outside our laundry room last winter.
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Old 03.10.2008, 15:04
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Re: Salamander lizards?

Quote:
They look cool! I don't think they are naturally occurring species in Switzerland. Maybe they had escaped from a collection?
Actually they are, although the Wikipedia link gooner gave doesn't list them as present in Switzerland (I'll have to modifiy that!): see http://www.karch.ch (in German, French and Italian). The people at Karch would actually be happy to hear where/when you saw them! (see article on the fire salamander on the Karch website) I remember that when I was a kid I used to see them once in a while, during or after a rainy period.

[Edit: in fact the list of countries in the Wikipedia entries doesn't refer to the distribution of the salamander, but to its common name in the respective country.]
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Old 03.10.2008, 15:36
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Re: Salamander lizards?

I've seen one twice in the last five years. I think you were very lucky to see two of them. They're getting quite rare as everything else. They're beautiful. Great pics!
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Old 03.10.2008, 15:40
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Re: Salamander lizards?

We have found these a couple of times in Mont Pelerin, about 850m. Dead unfortunately in both instances, asume the neighbours cats had been busy.
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Old 03.10.2008, 16:11
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Re: Salamander lizards?

I found a Red-backed salamander in our garden a couple of weeks ago.

Apparently these ones are the only ones that don't necessarily need live next to a water source such as a pond.
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Old 25.08.2013, 00:26
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Re: Salamander lizards?

Just saw 7 of these on our walk home. Treated to a 5 minute display of fire salamander mating ritual...fascinating. Anyone else seen these recently? Is it extremely lucky to see so many?

Last edited by pilatus1; 25.08.2013 at 00:54.
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Old 25.08.2013, 01:22
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Re: Salamander lizards?

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Just saw 7 of these on our walk home. Treated to a 5 minute display of fire salamander mating ritual...fascinating. Anyone else seen these recently? Is it extremely lucky to see so many?
You were lucky. They prefer areas with dry grounds, for example the sunnier places in Schaffhausen. You can see many of them in the Ticino and the Poschiavo. I just looked at the wonderful pics of the OP. Soooo beautiful.

I only this year saw Libellen/Dragonflies on the Glatt. Not seen them since the 1960ies. And you at times along the Sihl can see Waschbären/Racoons, the cute US immigrants







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Old 25.08.2013, 01:55
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Re: Salamander lizards?

These salamanders look very exotic!
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Fire salamenders, they are cute , but i am glad you didnt touch them)))
Indeed it's a good thing they didn't touch them!
It's interesting how most animals with toxic secretions are colorful - I think this is called aposematism.
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