How to Care for the California Slender Salamander

The California slender salamander's body resembles a worm, and it has four toes on each of its four feet. With a long tail and agile movements, it is an intriguing and popular pet with reptile enthusiasts. This genre of salamander is readily available for purchase at many exotic pet stores. Properly cared for, a California slender salamander can live for seven to 10 years.

Provide small and cozy housing for your salamander. California slender salamanders do best in three square feet of space per individual, with three or four other roommates. Males can be territorial, so consider this when choosing gender and terrarium arrangements. The ideal mix is one male for every two females.

Divide your terrarium into three portions. In one area, keep a small, shallow water bowl (no more than an inch deep). This helps keep up humidity and also allows your slender salamander to bathe if it is feeling dried out. Surround the water bowl with smooth rocks and moss. Fill another portion of the terrarium with forest bark, moss and loose leaves. In the final section, add pieces of wood so the salamander may hide. Also place a food dish in one of the other two sections.

Clean out your salamander’s terrarium every two weeks. They are nocturnal, so no special lighting is required to maintain their comfort. Keep the terrarium well ventilated. Most slender salamanders cannot survive in temperatures above 70 degrees, so work diligently to maintain this cool, dark and damp environment.

Feed your California slender salamanders small insects, especially aphids, spiders and fruit flies. You can also dust the insects with a reptile vitamin supplement. Feed them at dusk, as this is the time they would normally forage for insects in the wild. Give them live insects and scatter them throughout the section of the terrarium you have designated for eating. Place some insects in the food dish, and scatter others onto pieces of wood and bark so the salamanders can forage for their dinner. Feed the salamander once a day, as much as it can eat in one sitting. Discovering the right amount of food may take some trial and error. Remove any leftover insects after a few hours to avoid polluting the water and causing irritation to your salamander via bug bites.