I’ll be the first to admit this post is long overdue. Around Spring break, I figured Milo would complete his change within the week, but I was surprised to watch it undergo another month. That being said, he is now a happy seven-inch salamander!
HANDLING SALAMANDERS: Be sure to have completely moist, clean hands, as lacking to do so can present harmful salts and oils to the salamander; Limit handling to short intervals.
The first noticeable sign of his change was the regression of his gills. Eventually, he began to loom around the surface of the water, so I moved him to a shallower enclosure with a hideout to crawl out on. I will say this was the more tedious part of the transition–not so much the change of environment but waiting for him to fully make the leap from aquatic to terrestrial.
Beginning of Gill Regression
Once they do make the switch, it’s best to allow them an enclosure of moist, loose dirt (NO fertilizer) with plants and shaded areas to hide under. As for diet, crickets, mealworms, and earthworms can be let loose in the enclosure for the salamander to feed on as it pleases. The benefit of having mealworms over crickets appears to be centered around Milo residing most of his time underground. This way he is not forced to come up for food and is able to remain under the dirt where he is currently the most comfortable.
He is definitely camera shy in his terrestrial form, but I do hope to have more pictures of his transformation in the weeks to come.