A few words on: Salamandra Corsica

The Corsican Salamander was, for a long time regarded as a sub-species of the spotted salamander from the mainland – but, since not so long ago has become identified as a full-scale species.
Genetic studies have shown that the closest relative of the island’s salamander would be the black salamander from the Alps, branching off five million years ago.

‘U Cateddu Muntagnolu, Turcu Montanu, Cadellu Lurcu, Cane Montile’

Very easy to identify, the Corsican Salamander has shiny skin and is dotted with yellow spots (sometimes orange), irregularly laid out.
The tail is cylindrical, and at a larval stage, it can be distinguished from the Corsican Euprocte by the presence of yellow spots at the base of the legs.

Size: from 11cm – 21cm                                                                 
Longevity: up to 20 years of age

In order to defend itself, the salamander can secrete a toxic substance through its glands – the ‘samandarin’. This venom is harmless to man, who needs to wash his hands in case of contact with these secretions.
In Europe, the salamander was once considered an animal ‘born from flames’. This probably comes from the fact that they lodged themselves within wooden logs and old stumps, which were thrown into the fire – resulting in their haste to leave the hearth, covered in a protective mucus – thus, giving birth to this legend.

Endemic to the island, they occupy a large part – from Cape Corsica in the north, to the Cagna Mountain in the south.
Most of the observations are from a medium altitude: between 500-1300m, a record being at 1740m.



Source: Conservatoire des Espaces Naturels de la Corse
Photo: Philippe Libre

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