What is Safe Water for Amphibians? A Complete Guide

waht is safe water for amphibians

Water Quality for Amphibian

When one thinks of salts and water, the ocean probably comes to mind.

however, every natural water source contains a certain amount of salts, which are necessary for healthy aquatic life.

These salts are not our common table salt (Sodium Chloride, NaCl), but are varying ions obtained from minerals and rocks.

Such as Calcium Chloride (CaCl2), Bicarbonate (NaHCO3), Sodium Sulfate (Na2SO4), Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3), etc.

Plants and animals in various ecosystems have physiology evolved and adapted as per the salinity level of their habitat.

For Further Reading What amphibians can coexist? Can frogs live together?

What is osmosis? How do amphibians drink water?

Freshwater has the tendency to move from low salt concentrations to higher, through a process called osmosis.

This process is synonymous with the tendency of water to spread out and dilute its surroundings.

How do salt concentrations affect cells?

Well Salt actually Sucks, Cells Swell thereafter;

If you place an animal cell in a solution with a lower salt concentration than inside the cell itself, the cell will gain water by osmosis, and swell up. This is why de-ionized, or distilled waters cause internal problems when used with amphibians (see more on distilled water below).

Conversely, If we place same animal cell in a solution of higher concentration of salts than inside the cell, the cell will start losing water to the outside environment, causing the cells to become flaccid.

Note: Bathing amphibians in solutions with nearly the same salt concentration as that found within their cells, avoids salt concentration disruptions in the cells.

Acid Tolerance in Amphibians. ph value for amphibians
pH value scale chart for acid and alkaline solutions, acid-base balance

What is Osmoregulation? Why we need it?

Osmoregulation, a homeostatic function performed by the hypothalamus, allows animal kidneys to remove excess salts, within a moderate degree, allowing a small margin of differentiation between the salt concentration inside and outside the cell.

The whole concept is rather intuitive, for most people know that the majority of plants and animals found in the ocean will die if placed in freshwater, and vice versa.

It is very important to keep correct salinity levels for aquatic and semi-aquatic animals, otherwise, the salt balance of external water and internal cell construct is disrupted, resulting in poor health and/or the death of the animal.

This is especially true with amphibians, as they possess semi-permeable skin and are very sensitive to their surrounding environment. 

It is also worth noting that salt concentrations affect the pH of a water solution; another reason why salt concentrations in freshwater environments are important factors when keeping captive animals.

is salt water safe water for amphibians?

Freshwater vs Saltwater how they differ?

So, if freshwater has salt in it, what is the difference between saltwater, as in the ocean, and freshwater?

Well, terminology, composition, and the amount of salt, really. Saltwater is a term used to describe highly saline waters and is used broadly to describe the ocean.

Technically, all-natural water sources are saltwater in the sense that they contain salts, but differ in possessing varying degrees of salts, and different types of salts.

The term freshwater is typically used to describe water sources with a dissolved salt content of less than 1,000 ppm (parts per million), which equals 100%.

Safe Salinity levels for Amphibians

In contrast, highly saline waters, usually referred to as saltwater, consist of dissolved salt contents from 10,000 ppm or higher, or 1.00% or higher.

The ocean is at the high level, with 3.50% dissolved salt content.

There are other classifications in between the high and low, namely slightly saline levels (.100%-.300%), and moderately saline levels (.300%-1.00%).

The term freshwater is being termed for nearly every water source except the oceans.

Is salt water bad for frogs?

The terms saltwater and freshwater are a bit ambiguous, as they are sometimes used strictly to differentiate between the ocean and all other forms of water

but are also used to differentiate between the general salinity of a given water body, whether it be seawater or not. 

Despite the ambiguity of the term’s freshwater and saltwater, it is important to know that the oceans are different from all other water bodies on the planet.

The oceans, formed some 4.6 billion years ago, are unique in being one of the oldest entities on the planet.

The oceans were formed when atmospheric Oxygen and Hydrogen condensed as primordial Earth began to cool, and they’ve been here ever since. Freshwater systems, on the other hand, come and go throughout the course of life on Earth

Its formation took place from various events, such as melting glaciers during and just after the ice age (“glacial scour”), volcanic activity, tectonic movements, and seepage from layers of soluble rock.

Do You Know? The oldest lakes on the planet today only date back around 10,000 years or so.

“freshwater” and “saltwater” are layman terms that we use to describe different concentrations of salts in water systems.

but So, in terms of composition, there is a significant, geological difference between the oceans and our freshwater systems. 

Can Amphibians live in salt water?

Amphibians are generally associated with freshwater systems, while few species tolerate brackish (moderately saline) waters or inhabit the marine biome.

Crab eating frog is the only amphibian that can survive in 2.8% salinity, while tadpoles can withstand salinity up-to 3.9%.

The chemical composition of freshwater systems brings us to the focus of this article, creating suitable water sources for captive amphibians.

Now that we know there are ions (salts) present in freshwaters to varying degrees, the following sections on de-ionized, spring, and conditioned waters should make sense.

Unsafe Water for Captive Amphibians

Distilled, de-ionized, and reverse osmosis water

Distilled, de-ionized, and reverse osmosis water sources at 100% concentration are unsafe for use with amphibians.

As mentioned earlier, amphibians absorb water by means of osmosis, the passage of water from a lower concentration (of salts, in this case) to a higher concentration.

Distilled, de-ionized, and reverse osmosis waters contain a low, or zero, the concentration of salts and other minerals (hence the name de-ionized).

Distilled water for Amphibians?

The cells of an amphibian, on the other hand, contain positive concentrations of salts.

Low salt concentrate water, such as distilled, de-ionized, or reverse osmosis water, passes through the semi-permeable skin of an amphibians

Thus attempts to equalize the concentration of minerals and enzymes on both sides of the cell wall through dilution. This results in swelling of the cell, and possibly rupture.

In essence, these types of water disrupt the chemical properties and functions of certain amphibian cells and can cause severe health problems and death over a period of time.

We should always keep Amphibians in solutions with similar salt concentrations as found within the animals cells. 

It is worth mentioning that we can mix distilled or de ionized water with normal water to manipulate hard water properties.

Is De-ionized water OK for Amphibians?

One might argue that de-ionized water accumulates ions when exposed to the atmosphere, which is correct, however this is still unsafe for use with amphibians.

After a few minutes of exposure, a liter of de-ionized water accumulates a small number of ions, resulting in soft water acidic pH 5.6).

Acid Tolerance in Amphibians?

Amphibians in the broader group are relatively better in acid toleration.

Many frog and salamander species are successful in surviving acidic solutions of pH ranging in 4-4.5 which most other reptiles and aquatic animals can’t bear.

We should keep Most amphibians around pH 7.0, with a few species preferring pH as low as 6.8 or as high as 7.8.

The accumulation of ions from the atmosphere is not sufficient enough to raise the pH of de-ionized water to a safe level, and thus should not be used alone with aquatic or semi-aquatic amphibians.

Misting and Spraying Amphibians (safe ways to do it)

Misting and Spraying the Terrestrial amphibians with ionized water is helpful, under the pretense water collect ions from the surrounding terrain.

Again, this method is used often, and some would argue the safety of using de-ionized water just for misting purposes, for the fore mentioned reasons.

It is also a fallacy that boiling tap water creates distilled water.

Although the distilling process does include boiling at some point, the entire process is more complex and consists of several additional steps to completely remove all ions from the water.

Boiled water OK for Amphibians?

Boiling water removes some salts and minerals, however, boiling alone does not evaporate all present substances.

Boiling tap water will kill some bacteria, and evaporate some chemicals, but not all of them.

Acceptable Types of Water for Captive Amphibians

An acceptable method for creating suitable water chemistry for amphibians is to treat regular tap water with a water conditioner/primer.

Some argues about safety of this method, as the introduction of any form of chemicals is unnatural to amphibians.

Note: (conditioners/primers are available in the freshwater fish department of most fish or pet stores).

Water conditioners/primers usually neutralize harmful chemicals, such as chloramines and ammonia,

without stripping off other natural substances (Prime or Amquel are recommended primers) from water. 

Recommended Water Conditioners

How do you De-chlorinate tap water for frogs?

  1. Boiling and cooling. By boiling water makes chlorine will evaporate and removes other harmful gases.
  2. Ultraviolet and Sunlight Exposure. Leave the water outside in the sun for a day to let the chlorine evaporate naturally.
  3. Adding Vitamin C.

The majority of water sources in the US and other countries are treated with harmful chemicals to kill bacteria but they meet the standard guidelines for human consumption.

you can get more information about tap water quality in your region by contacting your county or city water district.

Keep in mind, that the water sources may not be the same in different cities and counties;

some may have extremely hard water, and some may have very soft water, both of which will affect the pH of the water.

Many rural cities have well water, which may or may not be treated with bacteria-inhibiting chemicals.

Spring water safe for Amphibians?

After extracting from underground formations in which water flows naturally to the surface of the Earth.

It is suggested to use Spring-water in conjunction with harder water.

In other words, spring water does not possess the added substances present in tap water,

and still contains the minerals and salts that are removed from de-ionized water.

Is Mineral water is safe for Amphibians?

Because spring water retains its original chemical properties, it will not disrupt most amphibian cells.

One drawback of spring water is that it is typically soft, which means it tends to have a pH on the lower side (acidic).

This can be detrimental to certain aquatic species that require neutral,

or even slightly alkaline (hard) water to maintain good skin health.

Springwater is typically not used by itself, but in some ratio with hard water.

Usually, we treat tap normal water with a water conditioner, to create a neutral (pH of 7.0) solution.

Is Bottled water safe for Amphibians?

RO water or simple filtered water in ratio with conditioned tap water helps in obtaining a healthy level of ions.

How about Pond, River & Lake Water for Amphibians?

Pond water contains a wealth of living organisms, which can provide a source of food for larvae and small amphibians,

in addition to supplemental foods such as daphnia, copepods, scuds, and chopped tubifex worms.

Note: pond water can introduce harmful microbes, parasites, bacteria, or other agents, and pose health risks.

You can also opt to create your own water/salt solutions using distilled water and various salt mixtures.

This eliminates the need for water conditioners and allows keepers to control the pH levels,

Simply by adjusting the softness or hardness of the water accordingly.

safe water for amphibians
Frog in Natural Water resource

BElows is a list of common salt solutions used with Axolotl’s (Ambystoma mexicanum), which require harder water to maintain healthy skin.

Hard water occurs in mineral and salt-rich waters, resulting in a higher pH (alkaline).

Common Salt Solutions for Amphibians.

Table 1.1 – Common Salt Solutions
Modified 40% Holtfreter’s Solution: in 44 gallons H2O (Indiana University Axolotl Colony) – for use with embryos, larvae, and adult Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum).
KCl (Potassium Chloride)1 teaspoon
CaCl2 (Calcium Chloride)2.5 teaspoons
MgSO4 x 7H2O (Hydrated Magnesium Sulfate)2 tablespoons
NaCl (Sodium Chloride)240 cubic centimeters (dry volume)
Modified 50% Holtfreter’s Solution: in 1 L De-ionized H2O (Michigan State University) – for use with embryos, larvae, and adult Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum). PH should read between 7.0 – 7.5.
KCl (Potassium Chloride)0.025 g
CaCl2 (Calcium Chloride) (stock solution)335 ul
MgSO4 (Magnesium Sulfate) (stock solution)335 ul
NaHCO3 (Sodium Bicarbonate)0.100 g
Novaqua (water conditioner)335 ul
NaCl (Sodium Chloride)1.750 g

At what pH do salamanders die?

Other amphibians, such as most newts, requires maintaining at closer to pH 7.0 (neutral pH), depending on the species.

PH below 4.2 may induce slower swimming effects and cause mortality in newts and salamanders.

The Solutions in BLACK print with minor dilution, if necessary, to adjust the pH according to any given species.

The solutions in GRAY print are solutions at 100% concentration, and require dilution of 20-50%, depending on species.

Many of these solutions requires further modification in the form of dilution for any specific species.

Conclusion

What is Albinism? (Albino Amphibians and Animals)

albinism and albino amphibians

What are the types of Albinism?

There are 2 main types of albinism

  • Oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) – It affects the skin, hair, and eyes. it’s a common type of albinism.
    • There are 3 types of OCA namely OCA type 1, OCA type 2, and OCA type 3.
  • Ocular albinism (OA) – It mainly affects the eyes, this is a rarer type of albinism.

Different levels of albinism

We can further subdivide the 2 main main types in 7 types as mentioned below:

7 known forms of oculocutaneous albinism – OCA1, OCA2, OCA3, OCA4, OCA5, OCA6, and OCA7.

8 Albino Animals – Facts and Information

Albino animals are often vulnerable members of their own species.

This is due to their inability to blend with their surroundings, making them vulnerable to predators.

Some species, such as birds and reptiles, suffer from partial albinism affecting only patches of their skin .

Some species are intentionally bred and are used for scientific experimentation to study albinism.

Many species have red eyes, which is due to the amount of blood vessels that are retained in the retinal area.

Albino Amphibians

Albinism is not as uncommon as in other species. Salamanders, frogs, and toads are all subject to albinism.

Frogs and toads are not typically all white, Most have streaks or patches of light color such as orange and yellow.

These amphibians must be kept in an environment where ample shade is present.

Amphibians live their lives 50/50 with that time being split between land and water.

Ribbed newt (Pleurodeles waltl ) albino

Albino Salamanders

Salamanders usually prefer climbing trees and buildings. It is rare to see an albino salamander in daylight hours.

They spend most of their time in a wet, swampy area. Simply speaking, a salamander can literally cook to death in the sun within just a few minutes.

Albino Toads & Frogs

An albino frog or toad can withstand a short time of sun exposure, Their skin will begin to dry and wither quickly.

Before sunrise and just after dusk is when an albino frog or toad is most likely to travel away from water and prey on mosquitos, flies, and other bugs for nourishment.

Albino Lion

Most commonly referred to as the white lion, the albino lion is a rarity.

Due to fur colours taking on a cream or tan appearance as this species ages, technically not an albino animal.

A recessive gene occurs in a small percentage of lions, failing to deliver pigmentation to the hair follicles.

As the lions are young, and into early adulthood, their color is bright white and their eyes are a crystal blue,

almost white or faint gray hue. As the lion ages, skin and hair colors can change slightly to have tinges of cream or tan.

The white lion is a Kruger subspecies, which is native to the Timbavati area.

It is unknown why dominant number of albino lions is within this subspecies as Timbavati is just a 200sq mile radius.

They exist since several hundred years, but come to the public eye in the 1970s.

Albino Gorilla

There is only one albino Gorilla documented, in the Barcelona Zoo Spain displayed for visitors to view.

Snowflake, the albino gorilla, lived for 39 years. His breed was Western Lowland Gorilla.

All others of this breed have been charcoal in color, including his mother.

It is quiet odd that this Gorilla, who lacked pigment and melanin, fathered 22 offspring and none, were albino.

Even the offspring of those fathered by Snowflake were not albino.

It was also rare that a gorilla would live to be this age as most only live to the age of 25.

When this gorilla was captured, it was the intention of Jordi Sabater Pi to ensure that Snowflake was put into a protective living situation, such as that at the zoo where he lived his life.

Pi was mesmerized by the light blue color of the gorilla’s eyes and the fact that he functioned and resembled a normal gorilla but lacked the true color.

Other than sensitivity to light and the development of skin cancer, everything about this gorilla was true to the species.

The reason for albinism in this particular gorilla is still unknown.

Albino Snakes

Partial albinism is more common than absolute albinism in snakes.

This is a case where melanin and pigment delivery from genetic mutation is present.

For snakes that are generally colors patterns, a faint blue, peach, or yellowish coloring.

The classification comes from the inability for full color to be present, such as black, red, brown and other colors.

The eyes of an albino or partial albino snake are typically red or pink.

Even with the classification of albino, a snake can remain in the sunlight for several hours with minimal harm.

Their bodies are made to withstand dry ground and exposure to sun.

Corn snakes and larger snakes, such as a boa or diamondback, are commonly affected by albinism with a pink or yellowish color.

Albino Monocled Cobra Hooding with Forked Tongue!

Albino Birds

We only see Albinism in about 1 of every 1800 birds. A true albino bird will have a white beak, white plumage, non-colour skin, white talons, and pink or red eyes.

It is important to understand that birds that are naturally white, such as swans, egrets, and geese are not albino.

Albinism in birds refers to those that are normal with color. The inability to hide from predators makes them more vulnerable.

Gentoo penguin albino

The two most common types of birds to note an occurrence of albinism are the common house swallow and American robin.

There have been notations of albinism in the African penguin, red-winged blackbird and common barn swallow as well.

Partial albinism, where streaks, patches or flecks of color are present, is more common than complete albinism in birds.

Albino Turtles

It is not as uncommon to see an albino turtle. Sulcata Tortoises are the most likely type of turtle to see albinism.

Their eyes tend to be a pinkish color and the shells have an almost yellow coloration.

With turtles, pure white color is nearly impossible, even with albinism.

Turtles classified as albinos are able to maintain a long lifespan, unlike other species that have an occurrence of albinism.

Their hard exteriors help to prevent their soft bodies from being subjected to many environmental elements.

Although they do still require plenty of shade and access to water, their function is not as limited as other species.

Vision and sensory organs are slightly affected, but not to the point of labeling an albino turtle as “disabled”.

Albino snapping turtle.

Albino Alligator

Sometimes referred to as the “Ghost of the Swamp” the albino alligator requires special attention.

It is extremely rare for this type of alligator to live in a natural environment.

Experiments shows that on exposing to radiant light albino survive no more than 24 hours.

We required A controlled environment that delivers ample shade and controlled radiant light .

To aid sensitivity for Albino animals in captivity we administer D3 supplements.

There is no way to return pigment to the reptile, thus protecting it via supplement and a controlled living environment.

This is the best way to keep the rare reptile nourished and healthy.

An albino alligator is likely to be less hefty than a genetically correct specimen.

This is due to their inability to disguise themselves for hunting purposes.

Genetically correct alligators can grow to 15-feet in length and up to 1,000 pounds in weight.

Albino Alligator on Grey background

Albino Rat

Although rather common, the albino rat suffers from several deficiencies, including impaired vision.

Unlike many other albino species, the genetic reproduction of rat is in albino form.

Scientists generally so it in order to produce more specimens for experimentation.

Commonly called lab rats, experimentation is easy with an albino rat than the regular one,

Their ability to absorb research chemicals and react to medical procedures in a more natural way than genetically correct rats.

Medical Research: albino rat for animal experiments

What makes an animal albino?

Albinism occurs by mutation in one of these genes or melanocytes, found in your skin, hair, and eyes.

What makes albino animals albino? Different types of albinism mainly occur due to gene mutation disorder.

Misconceptions Regarding Albino Animals

People often label albino animal as exotic which is wrong.While they are rare, most species are quite common.

When we is document an albino animal, it makes them more valuable and more desirable to pet owners.

Many believe that an albino animal has to be all white and have red eyes.

This is not the case with all species. Some have streaks or patches of pigment.

In frogs, birds and some amphibians, streaks or patches of color is actually rather common.

Not all species will have red eyes either as blood vessels and cells do not always take over the area behind the retina.

What Causes Albinism in Animals?

How does Albinism occur in Animals?

Similar to humans, albinism occurs in an animal when a mutation of the TYR gene that delivers pigmentation and melanin occurs.

The TYR gene is completely non-functional.This leaves a lack of melanin in the skin as well as the inability to deliver color to hair via the follicles.

Distortion in Eye colors means that in animals, most of the time the eyes are red.

In some cases of albinism in animals, eye colors are a very bright, light or crystal blue color almost appearing white.

Is albinism caused by inbreeding?

Yes, interbreeding could be a reason for albinism but its not strictly, In order for an animal to be subject to albinism, both parents must carry this recessive gene.

Even with both parents of an animal carrying the gene, this does not designate a concrete factor that albinism will occur.

What mutation causes albinism in animals?

Oculocutaneous type 2, the most common form of albino in animals, results from a mutation in the OCA2 gene, that encodes the P protein.

There are no medical treatments to return melanin or proper genes to the bodies of these animals.

Most Common Species Affected by Albinism

We often observe Albinism in animals most commonly in birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

Is Albinism Rarely seen in mammals and other species?

These rare occurrences are often explainable, There are only a few documented cases in history, such as the albino gorilla and one albino koala bear.

In birds, the mutation of the gene responsible for assigning color to feathers and eyes is mutated more often.

While some birds stay true to their specific type, many intermingle.

This recessive gene is stronger in birds than in any other species, with rats being close behind.

What do albino animals look like?

4 Visible Characteristics of albino animals.

  • They don’t have any melanin or pigmentation.
  • They usually have All-white appearance
  • Some also have a pinkish skin as compared to the normal pigmentated of their species.
  • Very pale blue eyes or ocean blue eyes.

Struggles Encountered by Albino Animals

An albino animal is rather weak in a variety of aspects. The most prominent being the inability to adapt to their natural environments.

Amphibians, reptiles and birds are born in order to blend with their surroundings.

The inability to hide when in danger puts them at great risk for harm.

For instance, an albino animal in the large cat species is unable to blend with its territory.

When the grass is green with lush vegetation, an albino animal has no way of disguising itself when predators are near.

Although the animal may be strong and understands how to react, it may not be quick enough to ward off an attack.

Typical Medical Issues Common in Albino Animals

Albino animals suffers with a variety of medical problems, that are sometimes rare to their species.

It is a given that these animals are subject to sensitive skin and must limit sun exposure.

We don’t encounter most albino animals during daylight hours, as they prefer hiding from direct sunlight.

Their lives adapt to be visible after dusk or in the overnight hours when it is less dangerous to be in the sunlight.

Other medical issues in Albino Animals

  • Vision impairment
  • Speech impairments
  • Greater risk of skin cancer
  • Hearing impairments
  • Difficulty processing tasks
  • Difficulty with sensory organs
  • Impaired senses of smell

Conclusion

We can teach some animals via human instruction to adapt their lifestyles to embrace their differences with repetition in routine.

An animal will easily become accustomed to repeating routines in order to process commands regain some self-defence mechanisms and adapt to its surroundings.

Albinism has a strict definition with few exceptions. Some consider all-white animals without red eyes to be just white species.

The fact of the matter is that some of these animals are still albino regardless.

The eyes of an albino animal are normally red, again, due to the blood cells that settle behind the retinas,

however, they can be a very light, and almost muted version of a genetically correct member of the species.

Many albino animal species are deemed as being in high demand for research and, becoming more common, as pets.

An inability to provide extensive medical care for an albino animal that is not a bird, reptile or amphibian is one of the main reasons that these species are kept in a controlled environment.

They are beautiful to look at, but require far more care than a common person is capable of providing.

Can Albinism be Cured?

Albinism is a genetic disorder from birth and inherent from parent to offsprings, it can be Treated but cannot be fully cured.

Can you Prevent Albinism?

No, we cannot prevent as it genetic disorder. There’s no way to prevent albinism if anyone as already born, but if its genetic history is prior known, measures can be taken for prevention.

FAQ’S

Do Albinos live long?

Albinism usually has no effect on lifespan. However, Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS) a hereditary disorder reduces pigmentation and shorten a person’s lifespan due to lung disease or bleeding problems.
Albinism usually limited activities because of the inability to tolerate sunlight.

Do albinos die? Do albinos die early?

Those with albinism are usually healthy as others of their own species, but lack of pigment blocking UV radiation increases risk of cancers, lung diseases and other disorders which causes low lifespan

Are albino animals more aggressive?

No they are not aggressive.The results indicates that albinos are less aggressive compared with their pigmented ones.

Are albino animals deaf?

No, they are not strictly deaf, There is no direct relation between loss in hearing ability and albinism.

What’s the rarest albino animal?

Snowflake, an albino gorilla of Spain’s Barcelona Zoo in 2003 was the only known white gorilla having rare skin cancer and albinism.

What is the most common albino animal?

House martin and the American robin are the most common albino birds species

Are all albinos sterile?

It is a Myth that People or Animals with albinism are sterile, In fact, albinos can give birth to pigmented children if their partner doesn’t carry a similar regressive albinism gene. Nevertheless, The offspring may be carriers of such genes.

Are albino animals blind?

Albinos have poor eyesight, which puts them at risk of being a easy prey for predators’. But they are only partially blind.

Why are albino eyes red? Why albinos have Blue eyes?

Albinism prevents the body from making melanin, which is responsible for color in eyes, skin, and hair. Most people with ocular albinism have blue eyes. But due to blood vessels inside can show via the colored part of the iris, and they appear pinkish or red.

Which Disease Can Kill Frogs? (15 Diseases you must know)

frog diseases

What disease kills frogs? What kind of diseases do frogs carry? can they kill humans? Is it safe to own a frog?

If your mind is boggling with all these unanswered questions, then you have come to the right place, in this post we will discuss various types of diseases frogs carry and which ones kills them.

Unlike any other Amphibian or reptile, frogs also carry bacteria and viruses that can cause abdominal cramps, vomiting, gastroenteritis, typhoid fever, intestinal infection, and other illness in humans.

It generally spreads when a person comes in direct or indirect contact with frogs poop, droppings or feaces.

Besides infecting humans and other species, some pathogens can attack them as well, these infections can either severely hurt or even kill frogs and amphibians in many cases.

15 Frog Diseases List (Infectious Diseases of Amphibians)

Here, we will discuss about 15 lethal frogs Diseases that can kill frogs,toads and other Amphibian species.

Bloat and Dropsy (African Dwarf Frog Disease)

Sometimes frogs appear like a balloon but beware they are not filled with air,

it may be a severe case of bloating, Also known as Dropsy, edema, hydropsy, and ascites.

When excessive fluid built inside the frog’s body they became bloated.

The reason behind this severe condition might be a bacterial infection or poor diet and it can happen overnight.

If your frog bloats up then it’s time to take it to the vet.

Is dropsy and bloat the same thing? No, they are different, Bloating is a symptom of dropsy, but dropsy is a collection of symptoms that includes, body lesions, swelling of internal organs, popeye, pinecone of scales, loss of appetite and energy.

Red-Leg Disease(What is red leg disease?)

“Red-Leg” syndrome is a severe infectious disease found in amphibians such as frogs, toads and salamanders.

As the name suggests, this disease redness on the frog’s legs and abdomen.It also affects the internal organs of the frog.

The infection occurs due to pathogens such as Aeromonas hydrophila.

Although, Gram-Negative organisms such as Pseudomonas, Proteus, and Citrobacter can also lead to similar diseases.

How do you treat red legs?

  1. Administring a bacteriocidal antibiotic orally or intramuscularly to frogs.
  2. Dissolving enrofloxacin in the prescribed limit to the water tank of affected frogs.

Ranavirus: What causes Ranavirus?

Ranavirus infections occur when a frog gets in direct contact with an infected frog

or the virus transmission takes place due to ingestion of infected animals, exposed to infected water or soil.

This virus most severely attacks the larva and is a seasonal infection.

What is Ranavirus turtle? It is a double strande of DNA virus that causes various infections in cold-blooded animals, including amphibians, reptiles, and fish and turtles

Is there a cure for Ranavirus? currently, there is no definite line of treatment or vaccine for ranavirus. quarantine and sterilization is the only management and precation availbe to prevent it from spreading.

Salmonellosis

When amphibians (such as frogs, salamanders) or reptiles (e.g. turtles, snakes, and lizards) come in to direct or indirect contact with salmonella infected amphibian or reptile, they also get infected.

Ichthyophoaniasis

Ichthyophoaniasis is a fungus that causes spores on the tissue of amphibians and fish.

Oedema or Edema

Oedema syndrome is a highly infectious disease among amphibian species and is mostly found in frogs under captivity.

The causes of this syndrome are bacterial septicaemia, viral infection, fungal infection, metabolic disorders and poor diet.

Due to this infection frogs bloats and appears like it is blown up with air. This syndrome badly affects the internal organs of frog.

What is Oedema a sign of?

Signs of edema include swelling or puffiness in skin tissue, especially in legs and arms areas. other symptoms include Stretchy or unusual shine in skin color.

Spinal Deformity

It is a congenital abnormality in the spine of the frog; it can be the same as ‘kyphoscoliosis’ in humans.

Chytrid Fungus – Chytridiomycosis

Chytrid Fungus is Chytridiomycosis is a highly infectious and deadly disease in amphibians.

It has the potential to sharply decline a particular amphibian species and make them extinct too.

It is highly contagious with a mortality rate of 100 percent.There are 2 stages of Chytridiomycosis

Chytridiomycosis- Early Stage:

In this stage frog behaves normally, is has no visible signs

however, the Litoria Caerulea gets affected by Chytrid Fungus and the frog may get feet hyperemia.

Chytridiomycosis- Later Stage:

Within 1-2 days frog becomes extremely weak, abduction of limbs and rigidness of frog’s body is visible.

The skin of the frog is not sloughy due to the effect of fungus whereas when the frog falls ill due to other diseases they get sloughing skin.

Discolouration (Litoria caerulea)

Frogs have vibrant colors but when are not able to access light for a long time, their skin colour turns dark;

however, when on exposure to indirect sunlight they regain their nice bright colour.

On the contrary, when a frog is sick or hyperaemic despite exposing to the light it will not recover its normal colour.

It might get symptoms such as lethargy, hyperemia, and abducted limbs (these are also symptoms of chytridiomycosis). 

Emaciation

This disease is hard to assess as the body of the frog don’t show any symptoms

Hyperaemia   

The term ‘Hyperaemia’ means ‘increased blood flow’; this is condition is responsible for increased redness on the skin as the blood flow increases the skin gets a reddish tint.

Its is also termed as ‘red leg’; this is also the sign of septicemia or end-stage shock.

Lumps

Lumps usually forms due to tumors, parasite infection such as tapeworm, sparganosis, and skeletal deformities.

This can also be the case of head injury in the frog, later on, the eye and nose also get ulceration due to nerve damage.

Skeletal Deformity

Skeletal Deformity in frogs has numerous causes and various factors affect it such as natural light exposure, Vitamin D, Calcium: Phosphorous ratios, Growth hormone, melatonin, and thyroid hormone. 

Major deformities include long bone curvature, spinal abnormalities (such as hunchback), mandibular abnormalities etc.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy

This syndrome is a rare disease that affects the mouth of amphibians and badly influences oral health; major symptoms include weakness of the tongue.

White Discharge

White Discharge is quite common in frogs, this is a natural fluid frogs secrete in the glands under their skin.

Frogs produce fluids such lipids and granular glands are potent producers of antibacterial substances, it mimics neurochemical substances that help in developing a better immunity response system.

Researches shows while giving mild electric shock to frogs, their glands produce different hormones and fluids.

This can also be related to human beings, as the stress hormone such as adrenaline releases on stimulation.

How do you treat bacteria infected frogs?

When a frog gets a bacterial infection it can be treated using antibiotics such as amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, and erythromycin.

Drugs like Enrofloxacin (Baytril) that is available as oral or injectable can help in treating a range of bacterial infections, it can be effective if given 5 mg per kg regularly for a week.

Studies suggests the effectiveness of drug combinations such as metronidazole to target anaerobic and aerobic bacteria.

How do you know if a frog is dying?

The dying frog may or may not show any obvious symptoms such as skin discoloration, bleeding, ulcers etc.

Although the frog might seem lethargic and disorientated and found in or around the edges of the ponds.

Do frogs play dead? Why they do so?

Many animals play dead to trick the predators and save their lives.

The frog can also play dead to escape its predator who watches for movement in its potential prey;

this behavior of the frog is called thanatosis’.

More Uncommon Diseases of Amphibians

  • Renal Tumor 
  • Herpes Virus 
  • Oncogenic herpesvirus – DNA absence in kidney cell lines
  • Renal Carcinoma – Lucke renal carcinoma of frogs
  • The Lucke Frog Kidney Tumor
  • Ranidherpesvirus 1 (RaHV-1) or Luckétumorherpesvirus (LTHV)
  • Ranid herpesvirus 3 (RHV3)
  • Proliferative Dermatitis in Free-Ranging Wild Common Frogs (Rana Temporaria)
  • West Nile virus Red-leg disease (bacterial septicemia)
What is Oedema vs edema?

Edema (or Oedema) is bascially a condition of abnormal fluid accumulation under skin tissues. The retention of fluid may be in the legs, arms or in lungs (pulmonary edema).

What is Bullfrog disease?

Bullfrogs are a worldwide traded species, in researches, eaten as food (bullfrog legs), and as fish bait to lure big fishes.
However, releasing or escaping bullfrogs in nature possibly transmit their disease to other amphibians.

How much do Salamanders cost?+Tank and Accessories

How much do salamanders cost? What is the price of newts? How much does it cost to buy a salamander?

If your head is swarming with all these questions and you are a beginner enthusiast, then you are in the right place.

So, how much do salamanders cost? Normally a common salamander will cost about 10 dollars. The more rare and imported salamanders can cost up to 125 dollars upfront (without, food, terrarium, substrate, and lights). The total price of buying will usually be around 300-500 dollars.

300 dollars seems like a big investment, but breaking it down seems affordable and worth it.

Are there any long-term costs involved as well? The simple answer is Yes, there are a lot of incurring and future costs involved in caring for Salamanders and newts. Captive salamanders live for quite a long, so it important to know the future expenses involved.

A lot of people want to tame amphibians, But they are unaware about overall cost for tank setup inclusive of substrate, lighting, heater, filter, and food.

Salamander Setup Cost from Buying to Caring

  1. Cost of Salamander (Common or Rare) Its a personal preference
  2. Basic Tank Setup Cost (Tank type and size)
  3. Tank Equipment & Essentials Cost (Feeder, Heater, filter, substrate, hydrometers, light)
  4. Post Setup Cost (Tankmates, Food, and health care)

You may also like to read How much do frogs cost? (And how much for their tank?)

To simplify things for you we have break down the prices of some popular salamanders, newts and axolotl species.

Price Chart of some popular Salamander Species

Common nameScientific nameApprox Price in USD
Slimy Salamander  Plethodon glutinosus  $10  
Southern Two-lined Salamander  Eurycea cirrigera  $12-$15
Dusky Salamander  Desmognathus auriculatus  $13-$15 
Marbled Salamander  Ambystoma opacum  $25-$30 
Spotted Salamander  Ambystoma maculatum  $30-$35  
Tiger Salamander  Ambystoma tigrinum  $40-$45
Fire Salamander  Salamandra salamandra  $40-$45
Two Toed Amphiuma  Amphiuma means$40-$50 
Lesser Siren  Siren intermedia$40-$50  
Ensatina Salamander (Extremely rare)  Ensatina eschscholtzii sp.$110-$125

Price Chart of some popular newt species

Common nameScientific nameApprox Price in USD
Fire Bellied Newt  Cynops sp.  $13-$15
Eastern Newt  Notophthalmus viridescens  $15-$20
Red Eft  Notophthalmus viridescens  $20-$25
Crested Newt  Triturus sp.  $25-$30
Spanish (Iberian) Ribbed Newt  Pleurodeles waltl  $30-$35
Alpine Newt (Ultra rare newt)  Ichthyosaura alpestris  $40-$50
Rough Skinned NewtTaricha granulosa  $60-$70
Marbled NewtTriturus marmoratus$100
Lake Urmia Newt  Neurergus crocatus  $110-$125
Iranian Kaiser Newt (Rarest Newt in the world)Neurergus kaiseri$150 or above 
Chinese Emperor Newt  Tylototriton verrucosus  $150 or above

How Much Does a Salamander Cost? In 2021

Well prices are not static for exotic pets and amphibians but for some common species they do not vary much, but for rare and imported species they can go exceptionally higher.

Coming back to the topic the average price of salamander alone varies from 10 to 275 USD.

Similarly, rare and imported species are far more expensive, Such as Black Salamanders of Europe costs about 260 USD.

and Ensatina Salamander which is Extremely rare species can cost around 125 USD.

Salamander and its Domestication

Can you domesticate a salamander? Yes we can keep a salamander as a pet but some species are toxic so we should ignore them as they have special needs and also pose risk for kids and pets;

Usually they make great pets and can easily live for 4-10 years in proper captive Environments.

Some are poisonous and toxic and even have teeth and tongues that are longer than their bodies.

Depending on the species, they can lay as much as 400+ eggs at once and wrap them in leaf for protection.

Some salamanders have the ability to stay young forever. Well, this doesn’t mean they are immortal but their juvenile features remain even when they are adults.

Start-up & Other Expenses

The average price of common and easily available newts ranges from $6 to $160.

You can buy adult newts for  $8 to $50 in offline and online pet stores like petco.com,

but rarer species from overseas tends to be costly ranging from $50 to $150.

Then, there’s the average cost of salamanders which ranges from $10 to $260.

Similarly, rare imported species are expensive such as European Black Salamanders cost about $260.

Costs for Shipping and logistics

On the other hand, there are a few expenses you should also expect to pay if you buy them online:

Verified pet stores and logistic companies make sure about the safe and live delivery for pets.

For that purpose they have special containers and basic equipment that keep the amphibians safe;

An overnight or same day shipping and delivery can some up cost somewhere around 30 to 100 USD.

Setup Costs for Tank

To house common salamanders A 10 gallon tank is sufficient and it can cost anywhere from $25 to $200.

You can also buy terrariums costing around $30 to $250, depending on the size and material

Acrylic tanks costs higher and glass tanks are cheaper as they are hard and scratch resistant.

There are different terrariums available for either aquatic (water) salamanders or terrestrial (land) pets;

Costs of Gloves and Disposables

Salamanders skin is sensitive and some even secrete toxins, so wearing latex disposable gloves is necessary,

it is for the safety of both the pet you are handling and yourself.

The surgical latex gloves costs 5-10$ for a 100 piece box and is easily available at nearby pharmacy

Costs of Lighting Equipment’s

For newts, you need a lighting source that provides full spectrum UVB rays for 8-12 hours a day.

You can buy them locally or online at Petco, petsmart, ebay or amazon for around $10 to $40.

On the contrary, salamanders require incandescent day bulbs light for 10-12-hour daily,

And they are also available in online stores at great prices varying from $5 to $20.

Costs of Decorations and Rocks

Rocks, wooden logs, and artificial decorations provide resting and hiding places for newts & salamanders they cost 5-40$.

Costs of Substrate

Newts prefer a large smooth gravel or water substrate of slate with décor plants.

Whereas, Salamanders requires wet bark, sphagnum moss, coconut fiber or mulchsoil.

Substrate costs anywhere between $2 to $15, decorative plants around $1 to $40.

Cost of Online Purchase

What Do You Get When Buying Online? Is it safe to buy salamanders online?

If you are planning to purchase salamanders online, some stores and seller guarantees about live arrival of their pets.

Meaning, if the pet dies during transit and is received dead on arrival (DOA), you can have both options to choose from

 I.e. you can either ask for replacement of that pet or a refund which ever you prefer

However, even if you opt for latter, you’d still end up paying the shipping fee which is non refundable.

Recurring Costs of Owning a Salamander

Costs of Supplement 

In order to keep your newts and salamanders attractive plus healthy,

Consider mixing a multivitamin supplement once or twice a week and calcium supplements on a daily basis in their food.

Calcium and multivitamin Supplements are readily available online for $8 to $14 respectively.

Costs of Health Care and Veterinarian

Amphibians are susceptible to diseases so periodically visit a veterinarian or an exotic animal expert;  

Through Online Veterinary Practitioners or similar sites you can get expert help.  

Costs of  Feeders 

Newts and salamanders both requires timely feeding two to three times weekly during night.

Their diet of aquatic species mainly consists of brine shrimp, bloodworms, and live or frozen nightcrawlers.

For terrestrial or the ones that reside on land , you can feed them a variety of insects such as crickets and worms.

Typical feeders for amphibians at stores cost about 0.1$ or a few cents and online stores like ebay, amazon etc

some stores like BackwaterReptiles even offer them for 2-5 cents and with local free shipping on bulk orders.

What Affects the Cost of a Salamander?

Salamanders are amphibians with long and slender bodies are a cross between a lizard and a frog.

There are a wide variety of salamander species. In fact, there are currently more than 600+ species of salamanders in the world and America is home to most of them.

Some have two legs, and others have four. Some have lungs, other with gills, and a few have neither; breathe only through their skin.

Then, There are newts. Most people confuse newts and salamanders. They are two distinct amphibians.

Newts are a type of salamander. In essence, all newts are actually salamanders; however, all salamanders are not newts.

Newts can be fully aquatic or semi-aquatic animals and most salamanders spend their entire adult life on solid ground.

Now, why is this important? Well, knowing their difference makes it easier for you with price ranges, their habitat, and an idea of what kind of environment you should have to let them survive.

For example, because adult salamanders are terrestrial species, you have to opt for bigger rocks in aquariums. Thus, increasing money you need to spend on decors.

Another important factor that affects the cost of salamanders is their origin, time, and money spent to bring them in america.

For example, the Kaiser’s Spotted Newts from Iran are critically endangered, making them the most expensive among newts with their price surging from $120 to $150.

The Different Varieties of Salamanders

Here’s a breakdown of the most common species of salamanders you can buy along with their respective prices:

Axolotls

They are hardy, fun to watch amphibians. They measure about 7-9 inches in length, lifespan upto 20 years in captivity.

Axolotls are found in many colors and can live without metamorphosis, means they keep looking young throughout their lifesoan.

In addition, they can regenerate their body parts and heal themselves when injured thereby making them popular in the pet market

They cost around $10 to $75. In petco, petsmart and online stores.

Tiger Salamanders

These are the biggest commonly available salamanders pets. They’re not shy when it comes to food and grows with higher feeding.

Tiger salamanders measures 6-8 inches in size. They are available for $25 to $60.

Barred Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium) smiling and crawling in moss

Slimy Salamanders

Also termed as “sticky salamanders”, their skin secretes, glutinous and clingy substance.

They release this non harmful substance when feeling annoyed or while off-putting.

They requires minimal care and maintenance. and costs only $10 to $25 which make them great pets amphibians.

A close up of a Northern Slimy Salamander in natural habitat.

Fire Salamanders

These salamanders have stunning looks with their dark black skin and bold, yellow stripes.They are docile pets which are not known to bite or being aggressive.

Also, rough handling stresses them and release skin toxins causing fever, soreness, muscle spasms, and nausea to the owner.

They common fire salamander costs around $25, while rarer ones such as Italian Fire Salamanders can go as high as $150.

Marbled Salamanders

With short limbs and chunky bodies, marbled salamanders are avid burrowers and once provided with apt burrowing surfaces, hides them forever.

Because of this behavior, they are names as “mole salamanders”. They cost somewhere from $15 to $30.

A Marbled Salamander crawling on the forest floor.

Spotted Salamanders

These types of salamanders have bright yellow or orange spots even though they are pretty hard to Find being experts at hiding.

They are long lives around 20 years and can measure as much as 7 inches long.

They costs less anywhere between $18 to $40.

A close up of a young Spotted Salamander on a green leaf.

Fire Belly Newts

These pretty newts are among the larger species of newts, measuring up to about 5 inches long. commonly availabe in pet stores as they are hardy and easy to care for.

With proper care, they can live over 15-20 years. They are not hard on pocket costs $12 to $15.

Eastern Newts

Also termed as red-spotted newts by some,They are relatively small, vivid in color and measures only 3 inches as an adult with few exceptions.

Because of their fascinating life cycle between land and water, They are pretty popular pets and are available for 20 Bucks.

An Eastern Newt in its juvenile terrestrial stage of life before re-entering the water.

Some FAQS

 Is It legal to own a salamander?

All non native ambystoma are illegal to trade or transport. You can still buy native ambystoma species. If you like caudates go for a non toxic pet newt, someone holding an exotic pet species license is good to deal with.

Are salamanders good for beginners?

Yes , they are good for beginners. Salamanders can be both entertaining and rewarding pets. They are hardy amphibians that can live long lives in captivity.

How much is a Newt cost?

Average price of newts ranges from $8 to $150. Adult newts costs lower around $8 to $50, but rarer and overseas imported species are precier costing $125 to $250 upfront.

Can I buy newts? is it legal to sell or buy them?

Buying any wild, native amphibians is illegal, and instead of buying you must report to authorities.

It is legal to buy Captive bred newts and salamaders from pet shops, exotic breeders and licenced dealers.

What is Chytrid Fungus? (Detection, Diagnosis and Prevention)

What is Chytrid Fungus? What causes chytridiomycosis in frogs?

The Catastrophic Amphibian Chytrid Fungus was discovered and named in the late 1990s.

Since then, Chrytrid Fungus (Phylum Chytridiomycota) has wiped out dozens of amphibians species.

They as the primary cause of amphibian population declines and extinctions in Latin, North America, and Australia.

Are all Fungus Harmful?

The simple answer is both yes and no. There are many known varieties of “chytrid” fungi around the world, but most of them are decomposers of organic and plant matter. they are not life-threatening for either humans or amphibians.

But they may potentially convert into chytridiomycosis, but not all infected host amphibians develop it.

It is still unknown, Why a particular type of this fungus becomes pathogenic to amphibians;

Discovery of chytrid fungus.

The fungus has spread to every continent except Antarctica and the earliest record frog specimens are from Africa in the 1930s.

In the mid-1980s a lot of amphibians got infection and die in vast numbers,

Dr. Karen Lips and his colleagues from Southern Illinois University are the first ones, to document it.

They find out the direct correlation between the arrival of chytrid fungus and loss of amphibian diversity.

Life Cycle of Chytrid Fungus in Amphibians:

  • Spores in frog habitats swim towards healthy frogs and amphibians.
  • Spores find their way to penetrate through their skin and develop into Thallus
  • Mature fungus develops into an enclosure of spores called sporangium
  • Spores are Released after 4-5 Days.
  • Infected Atelopus (large genus of true toads) dies within 120 days.
Life Cycle of Chytrid Fungus in Amphibians:

Deep Analysis of Chytrid Fungi Life Cycle.

  1. Zoospores=> Aquatic zoospores swim using flagella, A zoospores find the skin and bury and encyst themselves.
  2. Thallus => Zoospores grow in the thallus, which develops Rhizoids into the nearby cells, it extracts nutrients and begins to grow into more complex structures at a rapid rate.
  3. Zoosporangium =>Asexual structure formation (sporangium) in which the zoospores further develop in fungi, plants, or protists.
    • The Thallus develops into a zoosporangium having a spherical mass.
    • The Spherical mass begins and continues to divide.
    • Finally, new Zoophores with a discharge tube called Pipillae with plugs are formed.
  4. Discharge=> The plugs on the discharge papillae detach and the zoosporangium releases new zoospores out of the skin.
  5. Chytrid Cycle Replication => The Newly releases zoospores can now reinfect the same organism until it dies or can infect and replicate the cycle on a new organism (mostly amphibians).
Copyright Credits Rosenblum 2010;
Source flickr.com

How does chytrid fungus kill Amphibians?

Chytrid fungus invades the thin, permeable skin of amphibians and appears to kill them by interrupting their ability to maintain the movement of water and oxygen through their skin.

In national parks and zoo’s feet or feathers of birds, insects, and frogs, are the main carrier of chytrid fungus.

They provide an easy way to transmit them via motile spore into protected habitats.

Treatment options, at present, includes anti-fungal drugs and heat therapy, but they are still prone to toxicity and side-effects.

What does chytridiomycosis do to frogs?

What does chytrid do to frogs? Well, The fungus attacks the keratin-rich parts of a frog’s skin,

Since frogs use their skin in respiration, this makes it difficult for the frog to regulate water and oxygen and hinders breathing.

The fungus also attacks the neural activity and damages the amphibian’s nervous system, making frogs to behave abnormal.

What is the Disease BD?

BD or (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) is an infectious disease of amphibians caused by fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

Numerous lineages of Bd have been discovered, hypothetically the hybridization of different strains leads to the emergence of harmful pathogenic Bd strains.

Chytrid fungus Symptoms? Diagnosis for Chytrid.

How is chytridiomycosis diagnosed? If your pet frog is feeling sick look for below visible physical changes

Note: Make sure you don’t get confused with shedding of frogs skin as its a usual behavior of frogs.

  • Discoloration of the skin changes in textures that are not normal.
  • Unusual Peeling, sloughing on outside layers of its skin
  • Sitting out in the open, not protecting itself or hiding.
  • Sluggish, lethargic behavior, and loss of appetite.
  • The frog tends to spreads away from its legs, rather than keeping tucking them within its body.
  • Patchy or roughness of the frog’s skin

In more extreme cases, the frog’s body becomes rigid, and its back legs trail behind it.

How chytrid fungus spreads in frogs?

The chytrid fungus only attacks the parts of a frog’s skin that have keratin in them.

But Tadpoles may get infection around their mouths, but this is not enough to kill them.

It’s only when they start turning into frogs, and grow keratin in other areas, that the Chytrid fungus can spread throughout their bodies.

They may then die from the disease; but not before they’ve hopped around, spreading the fungal spores to other ponds and streams.

Once a pond has become infected with chytrid fungus, the fungus may stay in the water forever.

This means it is very important not to move frogs from one area to another.

Chytridiomycosis of Limosa Harlequin Frog
Photo by: Brian Gratwicke, 2011 Brian Gratwicke

Stages of Chytrid Fungus Infection:

Stage 1: Infecting Tadpoles

Tadpoles only have keratin (shown in red) in their mouth area, so they can scrape algae and decaying vegetation from the bottom of a pond or stream.

Chytrid fungus only affects the interior and posterior parts of the mouth not other organs.

Stage 2: Infecting Froglets

As the tadpole develops legs, it grows keratin on its feet and hands, to make them stronger. Chytrid fungus present in water can infect new areas of keratin.

Stage 3: Infecting Adult Frogs

When tadpoles develops into a froglet, and keratin grows on other body parts to protect it from wear and tear.

Now, It facilitates Chytrid fungus to spread to many parts of the frog’s body.

How to stop the spread of chytrid fungus?

Take below precautions while visiting frog habitats in the wild, including nature pond, zoo or backyard gardens:

  • Touch frogs only when it’s necessary as a medical examination or while feeding.
  • Use protective gears while handling them such as disposable gloves, poly bags, and sterilized equipment.
  • Clean and disinfect clothes or all things that come in physical contact between frog sites visit.
  • If you are handling them in the zoo, garden, or any outdoor facility, wash your vehicle tires properly.
  • Avoid moving or relocating frogs to fresh areas or new vivarium
  • Don’t mix healthy species with unhealthy or infectious frogs.
  • Use Clean Utensils and a disinfectant while working between potential threats place.

How do you get rid of chytrid fungus?

Chytrid fungus Drug treatment?

The experimental treatments: These Include commercial antifungal products (itraconazole, steriplantN, mandipropamid, and PIP Pond Plus), Antimicrobial skin peptides of Pelophylax esculentus, microbial agents (Pedobacter cryoconitis), and heat therapy (at 35°C for a day) are suggested.

What is a Cure for chytrid?

The fungus is treatable in captivity using Itraconazole, a fungicide similar in chemical properties in Foot medication of Athlete’s.

Unfortunately, in the wild, the condition is not curable on its own, fungicide spray is not readily available in rainforest.

What to do if you find a sick frog?

If you think you’ve found a sick frog, or if you see a frog that has died recently for no obvious reason.Follows as below:

  1. Place the frog into a sterile container (wash and disinfect any glass or plastic bottle ) without touching it.
  2. If the frog is still alive and moving, make sure to make an escape-proof breathable enclosure with some water.
  3. If the frog is dead, put the container into a plastic bag and put it in a freezer as quickly as possible
  4. Transport the frozen or live frogs by courier, and get respective expense reimbursements.

For Further Reading

I hope that you have learned a lot about The Term “Chytrid.

This post increases your awareness about frog diseases and how to keep your frog healthy?

Monitor your frog’s heath and changes in its skin pattern, whether it is usual shedding or some infection.

If you found this article helpful and you enjoyed reading it, Check some other related articles below.

Here’s an interesting article How to Deter Amphibians from Your Garden (10 Easy Ways)

Here’s another Good article about amphibian’s poop and diseases they carry.

What amphibians can coexist? Can frogs live together?

Mixing amphibian species

A lot of exotic pet enthusiasts have a very common question; Can we Mix Species in Vivarium?

can frogs live together? how about salamanders coexistence, can frogs, newts salamanders coexist?

Which Amphibian species can live together in harmony without hurting or consuming each other? What amphibians can coexist? can we house multiple species together? and this query list is big.

if you are looking for answers to similar questions you have come to the right place

Well it is pretty straightforward and A Big ‘NO’ for keeping Random amphibian species together.

We will be discussing about this in detail to enlighten and remove any misconceptions from your mind.so lets dive in.

What is Species Mixing? New World Syndrome

The title of this article is a reminder of the dangers of introducing foreign pathogens to new species or races.

In early 15th century European’s landed and started to colonize America.

They bring foreign pathogens, including smallpox and common cold, that Native Americans ere never exposed to.

Since, Native Americans had never developed any antibodies or natural resistance to these illnesses,

Major population got the infection and acts as a favorable host to new pathogen resulting in horrible deaths.

Smallpox and other illnesses were the primary cause of Native American declines from the 15th-18th century.

It was solely responsible for wiping out thousands of people in a very short period of time.

History has taught us a painful and devastating lesson about the foreign disease, the immune system, and the devastating result of introducing foreign pathogens to unexposed victims.

In fact, it’s worse as captive environments have restrictions in comparison to wild habitats, which allows microbes to multiply at a phenomenal rate.  

Of course, there are many species that live in close proximity to other amphibian species, and in many cases housing such species together is okay.

What really causes health problems? is housing species from different habitats, environments and geological locations.

Additionally risks of foreign pathogen exposure, housing animals of incompatible size, disposition, acts as a recipe for disaster. 

Some common mixed-species scenarios, why they are fatal to amphibians:

What amphibians can coexist?

Housing Geologically isolated Species Together

Can different frog species live together?

Mostly, amphibians become ill in a mixed-species environment is due to introduction of foreign pathogens from anti species.

In the wild, species get exposure to local pathogens, such as bacteria, virus strains, fungi, and through evolution have developed natural resistances/immunities to them.

However, because these pathogens vary greatly from one location to another, the natural resistances developed by any particular species also vary greatly and are dependent on that species immediate wild habitat. 

Again, the case of European invasion and the effect of European pathogens on Native Americans can be referenced.

For example, a newt from the United States, such as N. viridescen, develops resistance to different pathogens than a species from another environment, such as the Chinese Fire Belly newt, C. orientalis.

What is New World Syndrome?

A species carries the pathogens for which it has natural resistances, so its introduction with foreign species leads to transfer of harmful agents with new host species

which typically ends up in the illness or death of one or both due to their lack of natural resistances

Pet stores often house several salamanders, newts, and sometimes frog, species in one tank, which gives pet buyers an idea about their coexistence.

Unfortunately, these animals are often ill when purchased and die shortly after due to their mixed-species environment. 

It is true that some have mixed certain species with no ill effects for several years, but it is very risky doing so, and not the behavior of responsible keepers.

It is also a common misconception that captive-bred species are exceptions to the rule, and we can house them with other amphibians species.

The fact is that animals are not sterile creatures, and even captive-bred species carry harmful pathogens.

Granted, captive-bred species are less likely to carry the same diseases and parasites as wild-caught, however, it’s still risky to house even captive-bred foreign species together.

Housing Newts with Fire-Belly Toads.

Can fire belly toads and newts live together?

Many pet stores and pet buyers house their newts with fire belly toads (Bombina spp.).

Aside from foreign pathogens, fire belly toads are aggressive eaters, and often injure small newts while lunging at food.

In fact, they are aggressive and territorial all the way around, and will most likely end up injuring small newts.

I have heard countless accounts of newts with wounds or missing limbs because of aggressive fire belly toads,

The consumption of newts by the toads, as well as cases of starvation as toads, are aggressive feeders that most passive newts never get any food.

Housing Fire Belly Newts with Eastern Newts.

Can Fire Belly Newts with Eastern Newts live together?

Although these newts are roughly the same size, require nearly the same captive habitats, and have the same peaceful disposition,

they are still from opposite sides of the globe and carry different pathogens for which the other has no resistances too.

Housing Newts with Tropical Fish

Can newts be kept with fish?

Without any prior know-how about which species are compatible with each other beginners usually newts purchase and throw them into tropical fish tanks, where they soon die and/or kill other members of the tank.

Their habitats simply are not compatible with each other. Tropical fish require warm water temperatures (72°F-86°F), and caudates require cooler water temperatures (62°F – 68°F).

Also, fishes have the tendency to nip at passive creatures, such as newts, and being poisonous, newts can kill them.

Finally, all newts require a land area of some sort even though they only barely use it around the year.

Housing Newts and Salamanders with Frogs

Can newts and frogs live together? Can frogs and salamanders live together?

Salamanders and most frogs are solitary creatures, and become stressed when forced to live closely with other species.

When salamanders are in stressful situation they often reject food, which leads to malnourished and starvation.

The same scenario is with for frogs. Some species are more aggressive than others, and will harm more passive species.

Many frogs require high temperatures (75°F-85°F), and caudate require cooler temperatures (62°F – 68°F).

And of course, foreign species carry different pathogens for which the other has no resistances too.

Housing Frogs, Salamanders, and Newts with Turtles

Turtles create an enormous amount of waste products for their size. This alone can lead to the illness of any amphibian. Turtles are also very aggressive feeders and could seriously injure a caudate while feeding, or simply consume the newt.

Most turtles will far surpass most amphibian species in size, which will lead to starvation of the amphibian, and injuries. Also, the aggressive behavior of turtles may stress the amphibians, causing them to reject food.

Other consideration when choosing tank mates

Aside from species mixing, there are other considerations when housing sympatric and conspecific species together.

Here sympatric refers to (different species from the same range) and conspecific means (same species).

We should consider each member based on the size, behavior, and disposition. Large individuals will dominate small ones, and sometimes pick on them and prevent them from getting any food.

All members housed together should be of roughly the same size to ensure one is not bullying the others.

Adults, juveniles, and larvae should be housed separately to avoid cannibalism.

Aggressive and territorial species should be given ample territory or should be separated.

Caudates of the genera Pachytriton and Paramesotriton, for example, grow rather large, are very aggressive and territorial, and can easily kill smaller members.

Pachytritons in particular are territorial and are known to fight to the death if not given enough territory.

What can we house with Newts, Salamanders, and Frogs?

Obviously, Amphibians live alongside animals in the wild and some organism species in their captive environment.

Conspecific and even sympatric species are generally kept together in spacious tanks.

Here sympatric means (keeping different species from the same range) and conspecific means (keeping only same species along).

Some species of aquatic and semi-aquatic amphibians will tolerate small guppies, white cloud minnows, ghost shrimp, or apple snails in their water area.

Keep in mind that fish can also introduce foreign pathogens that amphibians may be susceptible to. Also, keep in mind that the tolerance of fish varies from species to species.

Eastern Newts, N. viridescens, for example, are mostly aquatic in adulthood, but prefer fishless waters and will often reject waters will fish in them, even guppies.

More robust species, such as those of the genus Paramesotriton, on the other hand don’t mind a few guppies in their homes, and will even eat them.

Terrestrials can reside with earthworms, which are actually beneficial for soil terrariums, and may also provide food for larger amphibians.

Can frogs and newts coexist?

Yes They can but we don’t suggest it, Newts and Frogs can live along in harmony although both can eat each others’ tadpoles and even each in a wild and captive environment.

Can frogs and salamanders live together?

Separate them immediately.

There is no recommendation to keep any caudates in mixed-species tanks, with frogs, toads, newt or salamander tanks.

What fish can live with newts?

Guppies are best option if you want to keep them together, as newts are non likely to eat them overtime.

Can fish and salamanders live together?

salamanders are voracious animals and prefers to eat insects, brine shrimp and even small fish.

usually its not preferable, but if you want one, then keep smaller salamander species like tiger salamander or spotted salamander along with fish in the aquarium.

Can 2 Pacman frogs live together?

No, We shouldn’t keep Pacman Frogs Together, they are carnivorous ambush predators that eat anything they fit in their mouth; including its own species and other amphibians.

Can you put different frogs together?Can toads and frogs live together?

usually its a no for frogs and toads to get along as they can pass diseases and even prey on each other,

But Some frog species could live happily together in tank with communal harmony: below are some

  • Waxy and other Green Tree Frogs.
  • Barking-Tree Frogs.
  • Grey Tree Frogs.
  • White Lipped Tree Frog.
  • Red-Eyed Tree Frogs.

What animals can live together vivarium?

Some Species that we can keep together in captive environments are as follows:

  • Frilled lizards with Green Iguanas (one male per species)
  • Box turtles and Radiated Tortoises in a large enclosure
  • Some sub-species of tree frogs can live in harmony
  • Firebelly Toad & Firebelly Newt (one male per species)
  • Baby turtles and some smaller fish species.
  • Terrestrial and Tree lizards having similar temperature requirements.
  • Baby Guppies and Small Newts
  • Green anoles, small day geckos, Tree frogs can live along with fire-bellied toads
  • Tiger salamander or Spotted salamander along with Fish
  • Aquatic and semi-aquatic amphibians with guppies, white cloud minnows, ghost shrimp, or apple snails.

For Further Reading

I hope you have learned a lot about which species to keep together and which ones not

it will help in protecting them from horrible death because of our misconceptions of mixing and lack of information.

below are some more relevant topics that are related to this one and you might find them interesting to read!

Here’s an interesting article Do salamanders really bite?
Here’s another interesting article are salamanders poisonous and dangerous for people?

Do salamanders make good pets? (6 popular pet salamander species)

best salamander to have as a pet?

Salamanders and newts are the one of the most popular pets around the world. They are also very attractive and friendly pets,

They usually do best with ambient moist environments and on both land and water enclosures.

We usually like to buy one but have confusion about which salamander or newt to start? What is the best salamander to have as a pet? Can a salamander live in a fish tank? Can 2 salamanders live together?

In this article I am going to discuss about 6 salamander species that are friendly for beginners.

Note: Some Salamanders species are poisonous and have harmful secretions on their skin

Do Tiger Salamanders make good pets?

Do Tiger Salamanders make good pets?
Barred Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium) smiling and crawling in moss

Choosing the Tiger salamander as a pet is something fairly common, but it is a totally different scenario between larvae and adult animals, as they have different needs.

The larvae demand an aquarium with clean water which ideally should be filtered.

Note: filter with strong flow, disrupts their natural inclination towards ponds that have still water.

Hiding spots within the vivarium ; They are quite secretive and want to be able to hide if they wish to, ,

Once their metamorphosis initiates, in some weeks or months, provide a land area to venture them out of the water.

Do tiger salamanders need water?

Yes Salamanders requires a fully organized aquatic setup with clean moderate or still water flow. strong currents can hurt their skin, and prevents them from breathing properly.

Having only adult Tiger salamanders demands no constant water presence, but there should be constant moisture in the terrarium, as they thrive in damp and relatively cool (65 – 70 F) conditions.

It is also very important to provide several inches deep of good quality and moist soil,

as they love to burrow and spend much of their time underground as noted above.

As pets they have straightforward simple dier both in their larval and adult stages, consisting mainly of worms and insects,

Being voracious eaters they tend to gain weight easily, making it important to regulate their feeding.

Can Tiger salamanders eat fruit?

Salamanders are carnivores in nature. we should avoid feeding them with fruits, vegetables or any herbivorous diet .

Do Axolotls make good pets?

Do Axolotls make good pets?
Axolotls in a vivarium

Due to their critically endangered status in the wild, it is virtually impossible to find them free, even if you travel to Mexico City and have a tour in the Xochimilco canals.

Instead, they are fairly common as pets, especially compared to their rare and reclusive nature in wild.

Choosing an axolotl as a pet is a totally different procedure as compared to their counterpart relatives,

Tiger Salamander, as they are strictly aquatic (except if you force-mature them, which can be very harmful and not advised).

Do Axolotls like hard water?

They somewhat prefer hard water, soft water causes temporary Anemia (also spelled anaemia). Axolotls can also live in tap water, but it should be free from chlorine and chloramines.

They demand a large, at least 10+ gallon aquarium with sufficient vegetation and rocks,

They hiding places can act as natural hiding spots, as they want to hide if they feel stressed for any reason.

Maintain clean water, filtered by a mechanism that does not produce a strong flow.

Keep them cool, as they prefer a temperature below 65 Fahrenheit and anything above can be dangerous.

They are also very sensitive to light and prefer dimmer conditions.

Feeding them is quite straightforward, as worms and insects are an easy and excellent choice for their diet.

Do Slimy Salamanders make good pets?

Do Slimy Salamanders make good pets?
A close up of a Northern Slimy Salamander in natural habitat.

Slimy salamanders, despite not being as beautiful, large or sought-after pets as the Tiger Salamanders or Axolotls, can be a good choice as a pet, due to being comparatively easier to handle.

Since they do not have an aquatic larval stage, the owner doesn’t need to create a more complex aquarium with water filters, etc. and a terrarium will suffice for their entire lifespan.

Where do slimy salamanders live?

Similar to other terrestrial Salamanders, they need a cool environment with elevated moisture and ample moist soil that they can use to dig a burrow.

It is also a good idea to include stones, pieces of wood, and some foliage that can act as hiding places, as they do like to regularly be out of sight.

Being primarily nocturnal animals, it is not a good idea to place them in a well-lit environment, as they will prefer to hide in such conditions and will generally be less active.

Their diet is easy and diverse, just like it happens with most salamanders, including insects, ants, and worms.

Due to their smaller size and lack of aquatic needs, they can be one of the best choices for a beginner in amphibian pets.

Why do salamanders have slimy skin?

Newts skin needs to be moist to perform basic bodily functions. The mucus membrane that they secrete from their skin helps these amphibians to breathe and other organs to work.

Do Fire Salamanders make good pets?

Do Fire Salamanders make good pets?
Fire Salamanders in water catching its prey

Fire Salamanders is most common pet amphibian, due to easy availability, great looks, and ease of keeping healthy.

The terrarium of a mature Fire salamander is relatively simpler because they do not have the habit of burrowing like most others of their kind, thus demanding significantly lesser quantities of soil.

Just some rocks or pieces of wood can easily suffice for their hiding spot, making it a much easier terrarium to organize and much cheaper to maintain.

Just like the rest, they are mostly nocturnal and are comfortable at a cool temperature with high humidity which is vital for their health.

Another great attribute of this species is that they tend to become more familiar with their keepers.

They can be taught how to eat their meals from a bowl, while most other salamanders forceps need forceps for feeding.

Why is it called a fire salamander? Do they live in fire?

No, they don’t live in fire nor they are born in it. European fire salamanders usually have fiery orange and yellow markings on their shiny black skin.

Ancient people’s erroneous belief was they were born in fire because

Salamanders often hide under logs and when put on fire they ran out of the flames to protect themselves.

Do Spotted Salamanders make good pets?

Do Spotted Salamanders make good pets?
A close up of a young Spotted Salamander on a green leaf.

many owners loves spotted Salamanders due to their beautiful looks and reclusive nature. even though they are not usual pets.

Spotted salamanders are avid burrowers so we should use thick and moist substrate, but not exceedingly wet at any time.

They are also nocturnal and can’t tolerate heat for prolonged periods. we should follow usual lighting and temperature guidelines.


How much do spotted salamanders eat?

The Spotted Salamander is known for its great appetite and it can eat just about everything that it can overpower, including a smaller specimen of its kind, thus it is best to keep alone or within a terrarium with adults of similar size.

Do Japanese Fire-Bellied Newts make good pets?

Do Japanese Fire Bellied Newts make good pets?
Japanese fire belly newt

Due to their striking colour pattern, the Japanese Fire-Bellied Newt is a very popular pet amongst those that choose to start a vivarium with amphibians.

Their toxins might sound like a problem, but as long as you wash thoroughly your hands after handling them it’s ok.

Are Japanese fire belly newts poisonous?

Do not let childern unattended in a room that has a newt vivarium, as they might try to catch them, without realizing their poisonous nature.

Their vivarium should have a mixed space that includes both a body of clean water and a land area with sufficient rocks and debris, as they tend to alternate within the day between the two environments.

Do fire belly newts need a heat lamp?

Feeding them is an easy and straightforward process, they have a characteristic tendency to prefer dimly lit environments.

Conclusion

I hope that you have learned quite a bit about salamanders and newts. this post will surely help you decide which salamander suits your requirements as a pet.

I also hope that the additional information provided was somewhat helpful and that you overall have enjoyed reading this post.

For Further Reading

Below are some more relevant topics that are related to this one and you might find them interesting to read!

Here’s an interesting article Do salamanders really bite?
Here’s another interesting article are salamanders poisonous and dangerous for people?

What are amphibians? (Definition and examples)

what are amphibians?

Amphibian Life is here to share interesting facts and information about amphibians. But first, we need to understand what an amphibian actually is. Are we talking about frogs? Snakes? Reptiles? Fish? What are amphibians really? And what makes them different from other animals?

What does the name amphibian mean?

In this article, we define “amphibian”, we look at the characteristics of amphibians, and we share examples of amphibian creatures.

Does amphibian mean double life?

Yes, Amphibians as the name suggested is derived from the word Amphibia meaning “life”.

Amphibian word comes from the Greek word Amphibios, that means “to live a double life.

its composition is of two words amphi meaning (both) + bios meaning (life) Creatures ‘living both in water and on land‘,

Because of their unique ability to live both on land and in water, makes them interesting pets.

Amphibian definition

Amphibians are cold-blooded, vertebrate animals that have an aquatic phase of life (spent in water, breathing through gills) and a terrestrial phase of life (living on land, breathing with lungs).

  • Cold-blooded means that an amphibian can’t generate its own body heat. Instead, their temperature varies with the temperature of the surrounding environment.
  • Vertebrate means that amphibians are a type of animal with a backbone or spine.
  • Aquatic means in water. Amphibians begin their life living underwater, breathing through gills and swimming with tails.
  • Terrestrial means on land. At a later stage of life, amphibians develop lungs and legs and move out of the water to live on land.

Probably the best known example of an amphibian is the frog. You probably know that frogs begin life as tadpoles: little fish-like creatures that breathe through gills and swim around with small tails.

You’ll also know that frogs don’t stay tadpoles forever. They develop legs and eventually hop on to dry land, where they breathe through their lungs, like we do.

Characteristics of Amphibians

Clearly, how amphibians look varies depending on the stage of their life. A tadpole looks completely different to a frog, for example. But there are some characteristics that are generally consistent across most amphibian species.

  • Amphibians have moist bodies. If you picked up a snake (which is not an amphibian) it would feel very dry. Contrary to popular belief, snakes aren’t “slimy”. However, if you picked up an amphibian – such as a frog – its skin would feel wet and slippery.
  • Amphibians don’t have scales. Taking the snake example again, if you looked closely at a snakes body, you’d see lots of tiny plates, called scales. Scales are what fish and reptiles have instead of skin. They don’t have scales, they have smooth skin.
  • Amphibians will die if their body dries out. The reason they have moist bodies and smooth skin is that they need it to survive. Amphibians have a special skin that is able to absorb water and oxygen, stopping them from getting dehydrated. This is why, even once they start living on land, amphibians usually live close to water.
  • Some amphibians can “aestivate“. This is a special ability that allows certain types of amphibian to enter a dormant state if conditions become too hot and dry. They then return to normal once cooler, wet conditions return.
  • Some amphibians are poisonous. Poisonous amphibians release toxic chemicals through their skin to harm and scare away predators.

How many Amphibians species are there?

We often have people ask us to publish a list of all amphibians.

We could… but it would be very long! There are over 8000 amphibian species.

Amphibian Examples and Categories:

Broadly Amphibians fall into following 4 categories:

Frogs and Toads have long back legs, short front legs, webbed feet, no tails and large eyes. You may not know that the difference between a frog and a toad is that frogs have smooth skin, whereas toads have warty skin!

Salamanders are a group that share the characteristics of a long body, a tail and short limbs.

Newts are a type of salamander in the subfamily Pleurodelinae unlike Salamandridae they are semi-aquatic in nature.

Caecilians are fascinating creatures that many people have never even heard of! They look like snakes or worms, have no legs, and live in rivers and streams, where they burrow into the riverbed.

Labyrinthodontia Belong to the super-order of Amphibia comprising extinct ones of the Upper Paleozoic, Devonian, Mesozoic eras. They are termed as maze toothed in Greek and are evolved from vertebrate fishes with fins.

Remember: Frogs and toads, salamanders, and caecilians are groups of amphibians. Within these groups, there are many different species.

For example, you may already know of different types of frog. There isn’t just one generic “frog”. There are frogs of all different shapes and sizes.

Amphibians vs Reptiles

Because they look kind of similar, people are often confused about the difference between them. Let’s clear up the confusion…

Reptiles are scaly creatures, with dry bodies, that live on land. They breathe through their lungs and don’t have gills. They lay eggs on land and the eggs have hard shells.

As we’ve already learned, amphibians are very different to reptiles.

  • They have smooth skin (no scales) and moist bodies.
  • They live underwater and breathe through gills at one stage of their life, and live on land breathing through lungs at a later stage.
  • They lay eggs in water, not on land, and their eggs are soft, with no hard shell.

Are Turtles Amphibians?

One of the most common questions we get asked is whether turtles are reptiles or amphibians.

It makes sense that there’s some confusion, as turtles do spend some of their time in water and some time out of water.

They’re also cold-blooded, like amphibians. But turtles are actually reptiles

There are a few key differences:

turtles have scales and a shell, where frogs and toads don’t, and turtles lay eggs on land, not in water.

Is Alligator or crocodile an amphibian?

Crocodiles have a lot of similarities but they are not termed amphibians. as they cannot breathe through their skin In fact they are part of the reptile family.

Reptiles: lizards,Snakes,turtles, tortoises, crocodiles, alligators are reptiles.

Amphibians: Frogs, toads, salamanders,newts and caecilians

For further Reading

I hope this article is a great learning experience for all you pet enthusiasts. and cleared many misconceptions about them.

There are more interesting topics about frogs,toads, salamanders and newts you may like to read

How Long Do Toads Live? 14 Species Included

What do amphibians, reptiles, birds and fish have in common?

how are fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds similar

We’ve all seen birds, reptiles, and amphibians – and hopefully, from reading this website, you know what an amphibian is – but have you ever found yourself questioning how these animals are alike?

If so, you’re not alone! This afternoon I sat in my backyard and thought about the different animals and how they are alike. I tried to list a few things but this was harder than I thought.

I did not come further than that they’re all made up of cells, they all reproduce and they all evolve. But I was sure there were other things as well..So I jumped up and ran to my computer destined to find the answers.

If you would like to know how birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish have in common, then read on!

What do these animals have in common?

These animals have much in common. These animals all need and use energy, they are all made up of cells, they also all have bones which means that they’re vertebrates, and they all use muscles to move around from one place to another. But there are other similarities too.

Below you’ll find a list of what these animals have in common.

1) A separate organ system

An organ system is nothing more than a group of organs that work together to make what is called a “biological system” perform just one or multiple functions.

Each organ in the group has a separate function and helps to let the whole biological system work. This is the same as for humans.


2) Jaws

All the animals have a jaw. The jaw functions as the framework of the mouth. With vertebrate animals, this usually also means that they have teeth and a moveable lower jaw.

Now the jaw seems like a normal thing to have, but not every animal has it. Agnatha, for example, is a superclass of jawless fish.


3) Reproductive organs

Now, this is something you probably already know. How would the species otherwise reproduce? But Let me explain how they do this exactly.

Birds: How do birds mate?

The first thing that you need to know is the fact that most male birds don’t have penises.

Instead of that, both male and female birds have something that is called a cloaca.

The cloaca is a kind of “internal chamber” that ends in an opening. And it is through this opening that the bird’s sex organs (testes or ovaries depending on if it’s a boy or girl) release sperm or eggs.


When it is mating season, this cloaca swells by both females and males to the point that it protrudes slightly outside of their bodies.

When the two birds want to have sex, they rub their cloaca’s together and so the sperm is deposited in the cloaca of the female where it will fertilize an egg.

Amphibians: How do Amphibians mate?

With amphibians, it is a little simpler than with birds (at least that is what I think). Most female amphibians will lay eggs and then the male will fertilize those eggs. In frogs, for example, it goes like this:

In the mating season, the male frog starts looking for a female to mate with nearby a pond. When he found a female, he climbs on top of her and when the female discharges the eggs in the water, the male fertilizes them with his sperm. 

Here is an article I wrote about why amphibians lay eggs in the water.

Reptiles: How do Reptiles mate?

They are similar to birds (this is because birds are considered reptiles). They all have an opening which is called the cloaca. This time let me give you an example of how snakes do it.

In snakes, the males have 2 penises (they call this hemipenes). And those are stored inverted inside of the tail.

Now when the male snake is horny, one of the penises flips itself inside out and then goes through his cloaca (just like with the birds where the sex organs come out of their bodies).


When he finds a female, he will ride on top of her and tries to align his tail with the tail of her. When the female snake also wants to mate, she will lift her tail and opens her cloaca so that the male can come inside her. Then the sperm goes into the female and fertilizes the eggs.

Fish: How do Fish mate?

In fish, it can vary a bit because different species of fish, have a different kind of reproductive strategies:

1) Oviparity

This means that the embryo develops inside the egg, but outside of the body.

This method required that the female lays eggs that then need to be fertilized by the male.

2) Ovoviviparity

This means that the fertilization and the development of the embryo happens inside of the mother. But how does it work?

The female gets impregnated by the male’s modified anal fin. Then sperm is released into the female’s body and so the fertilization happens.

3) Viviparity

This means that the gets fertilization of the embryo takes place inside the mother’s body and eventually leads to a living birth.

I was shocked about the fish part a bit. I didn’t think there were so many ways in which fish would reproduce!

Now that we have looked at what all these animals have in common, let’s look at some things that the animals do not have in common.

What do birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish all have in common

What Are Differences Between birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, And Fish?

They are not all warm-or cold-blooded

This may or may not come as a surprise but not all animals are warm or cold-blooded. Birds, for example, are warm-blooded which means that they can make their body heat (even when it is cold outside) just like us.

Now in frogs, this is different. Frogs are cold-blooded. This means that frogs take on the temperature of their surroundings. That is why sometimes you see them lying in the sun and sometimes in the shadow or the water. They need to regulate their body temperature that way.

Reptiles are also cold-blooded, so they are also dependent on the temperature outside. The same goes for fish!

That is why you don’t see any feathers on reptiles, amphibians, and fish. They do not need anything to keep their body warm. The only thing they need is a good environment.

The difference in the hearts and urea

There is also a difference between fish and amphibians. Amphibians have a heart which contains three chambers, while the fish have only 2.

Another difference between the two is the fact that amphibians have a bladder that produces urea and fish extract their nitrous waste as ammonia from their gills.

When we look at amphibians and reptiles, we also see that there are some differences. Amphibians live “dual lives” (which means that they spend half their life in water and the remaining half on land), and reptiles are a group of animals that live on land.

Also, reptiles have scales on their body and function to retain moisture. So, the differences between the two are primarily in their life cycle and appearance.

Related questions

What are the 5 classifications of animals? 

Now that you know the differences and similarities of the animals, you might wonder what the 5 classifications are. Here they are mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians.


Is there a difference between amphibians and a reptile I don’t know about? 

Reptiles usually have dry, scaly skin and a kind of leathery eggs, where amphibians lay soft eggs with a jelly-like substance around it in the water. There is also the difference that some amphibians (like the frog) lay up to 20.000 eggs and with reptiles, this varies from 150 to just one or two.

Want to know more about why frogs lay so many eggs? Read about it in this article I wrote.

How Do Amphibians Take Care Of Their Young?

how amphibians care for their young

When it comes to taking care of younglings, all animals do it slightly differently. I didn’t know how amphibians did this and if there were any differences between the species. So I went online and to find more information about how amphibians take care of their young. Here’s all the information I could find.

So, How do amphibians take care of their young? This depends on the amphibian species. Some species let go of their younglings altogether and some will stand by their young-lings side to know that their young are safe.

Although they actually take care of amphibian younglings, it is fun to know how frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders do this. I hope you find the answers you need below in this post! It took a lot of time to put this together, and I hope you’ll enjoy it!

Do amphibians take care of their young?

Unfortunately, most amphibians will not take care of their young only 10% of male frog species take care of their babies.

If we look at salamanders, the females put energy and nutrients in their eggs so that the embryos can feed themselves. This is the same with frogs.

Most frogs will not take care of their young. However, some types of frogs are more caring and carry their young around in a little pouch on their back! Let us dive a little deeper into the matter and see what frogs, toads, salamanders, and newts do with their younglings.

How do amphibians take care of their young

How Do Frogs Care For Their Younglings

Most of the time the eggs of frogs are left behind and the tadpoles have to see for themselves how they survive. But, as I said earlier, some species of frogs do take care of their younglings.

Surprisingly enough, how much care they give can be dependent on the size of water that the eggs are laid in. The larger the body of water is, the less care the frogs give to their young.


Some frogs will stick around the area where the eggs lay to keep them safe from predators and the environment. The African bullfrog is a good example of this. The male African bullfrogs protect their offspring from birds and other predators that are trying to eat them. But that is not the only thing.

Male African bullfrogs also protect their young from dying by making paths from one pond to another. Below is a nice video of this so you can see it in action.

Do Salamanders Care For Their Young?

The information I found is only for the spotted salamander. I found that the spotted male salamanders do not stick around to care for their young. They do some other things to be sure that their young are safe, can grow and do not starve. To battle the starvation, the female spotted salamander puts energy and nutrients into the eggs.

This way the embryos can feed themselves off of that before they hatch. To be sure that the eggs are safe, they cover the eggs with jelly so that they won’t dry out from the sun and have some protection. In the last place, they are really careful about the place the eggs are laid. After all this they leave the pond an don’t provide any care for their young ones.

What About Other Salamander Species?

Now, after some digging, I found out that there are terrestrial Oviparous salamanders that do it a little differently than the spotted salamanders I talked about above. Some terrestrial salamander species lay their eggs in protected nests after they are fertilized. And then stay with them.

Take the bolitoglossa pesrubra for example. They make nests in dark and moist places. This can be under a rock or in a rotting log. Then, when the eggs are laid, the mother and sometimes also the father care for the eggs for four or even five months until they hatch. They do this by wrapping their body around the eggs and their head resting on top of the eggs. They do this to be safe and for the eggs to stay warm.

Fun fact: All species in the genus bolitoglossa (also called the web-footed salamanders) skip the aquatic larval stage.

You may also like to read What Do Frog Eggs Look like (Where They Keep Them)?

What about the Viviparous Salamanders?

That is a whole other story! Viviparity is rare among salamanders. It means that the fertilized eggs hatch within the body of the mother and then she gives birth to live young! The female gives birth to these young in a protected area to keep the new tiny salamanders safe.

Do Salamanders Eat Their Eggs Sometimes?

Now, this is interesting. While some salamander species will take care of their young, they are also known to practice cannibalism (this means that they eat their species). So, when you house salamanders and you want to hatch the eggs yourself. Care for the eggs by taking them apart from the adult salamanders.

Now, this is not only true for salamanders. There are toads that also practice cannibalism. In my article What do toads eat, I explain this further, but there are some species (like the Cane toad and the American toad for example) that would eat juveniles.

That is why you also have to be careful when hatching your own toad eggs. Read on to find out how to hatch salamander eggs yourself. Much of the steps are also applicable when trying to hatch your own toad eggs.

Larva of Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra). Closeup

How To Hatch Salamander Eggs Yourself

When you have pet salamanders, and you want to hatch the eggs that they have laid, you can do so. Although I have to say that it can be quite challenging to do so.

How do you hatch a salamander egg? 5 Easy Steps to follow:

1) Separate the eggs from the adult male and female salamander. You must do this because (as I said earlier) otherwise they’ll eat the eggs of their own because salamanders practice cannibalism.

2) Reduce the amount of aeration and water flow. This can mean that you need to turn off the filter and the aeration system. You can also move the eggs away a bit from the air source. If you decide to keep the eggs in a different container, you don’t have to worry about this.

3) Clean the container (I assume that you hold the eggs in a different container). Change the water in the tank daily and move the eggs to a new and clean container two times a week.

4) Take the eggs that do not hatch out of the container. The eggs that don’t hatch might start to go bad and getting moldy. You remove these because they can infect the other eggs.

5) Wait for the eggs to hatch! This can take up to three weeks. This depends largely on the species of salamanders that you hold.

How Do Toads and Newts Take Care Of Their Young?

Now that I’ve told you how frogs and salamanders take care of their young, I assume that you want to know how toads and newts do this. Now I don’t think this comes as a surprise, but they do the exact same thing. Some newts and toads will care for their eggs and later their juveniles and some won’t do that at all.

Related Questions

Where do salamanders live?

Salamanders live in a variety of places around the world. If you want to find them, it is best that you dive deeper into the world of the specific salamander. What I mean by that is that you do some research about the salamander and go to the places where it is most likely that you will find them. You can read this article I wrote about where they live.

Why do amphibians lay eggs in water?

As I explained a bit in this article, amphibians lay eggs in the water so that the eggs won’t dry up from the sun exposure. That is also why they have a jelly-like defense mechanism around them. They also lay them in water because the tadpoles can later feed themselves on the leaves that are in the pond.

What is the largest amphibian?

The largest amphibian of the world is the Chinese giant salamander. It can grow as large as us humans and can weigh up to 50 kg! The Chinese call this salamander “baby fish” and this is because of his whining cry.

But fun to know is the facts that they also go by the name “pig not eat” this happened after farmers saw it being ignored by hungry pigs even though it would make for easy prey