Are arboreal salamanders good pets?

Answered by Michael Wilson

Arboreal salamanders, also known as Aneides lugubris, can be kept as pets in captivity. However, whether they make good pets or not depends on various factors.

1. Care Requirements: Arboreal salamanders have specific care needs that must be met to ensure their well-being. They require a suitable enclosure, preferably vertically oriented with branches and foliage for climbing. The enclosure should be kept at a consistent temperature and humidity level, mimicking their natural habitat. Regular misting and providing a water dish for soaking are important for maintaining proper moisture levels.

2. Diet: These salamanders primarily feed on small invertebrates like insects, spiders, and worms. Their diet must be diverse and well-balanced to provide them with essential nutrients. It may be challenging to consistently provide a varied diet in captivity, especially if you don’t have easy access to a range of suitable prey.

3. Handling: Arboreal salamanders are generally not fond of being handled or touched. They are sensitive creatures and can become stressed if handled too frequently or improperly. It’s important to handle them gently and minimally, focusing on observing their behavior rather than constant physical interaction.

4. Lifespan: In captivity, arboreal salamanders have an average lifespan of just over 5 years. While this is not particularly short for a small amphibian, it is shorter compared to some other commonly kept pet reptiles or amphibians. It’s important to consider the potential emotional attachment you may develop with your pet and be prepared for their relatively shorter lifespan.

5. Availability: Arboreal salamanders are not as readily available in the pet trade as some other reptiles or amphibians. Finding a reputable breeder or a healthy specimen can be challenging. It’s crucial to do thorough research and ensure that the salamanders you acquire are captive-bred and not taken from the wild, as this can have detrimental effects on their population.

Personal Experience: I have had the opportunity to keep arboreal salamanders as pets, and while they can be fascinating creatures to observe, they may not be the ideal pet for everyone. Their specific care requirements and relatively short lifespan can be factors to consider before deciding to keep them.

Whether arboreal salamanders make good pets or not depends on the individual’s commitment to meeting their unique needs. They require specialized care, a diverse diet, and minimal handling. If you are willing to put in the effort to create an appropriate habitat and provide for their specific needs, arboreal salamanders can be enjoyable pets to observe. However, if you are looking for a pet that thrives on regular handling or has a longer lifespan, you may want to consider other options.