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Poisonous Salamanders?

Are any of the salamanders in the US poisonous? We found some Eastern Red-backed salamanders while night-crawler hunting (after a two-day rain) and I remembered someone telling me years ago that some salamanders are poisonous. My daughter loves "critters" and I do not want to steer her away if this is not true. Thanks! - Tim

Wildlife Expert - David Herlocker

All amphibians have poisonous skin secretions, including salamanders, in fact, the skin secretion of the Pacific Newts is among the most toxic compounds known in nature. In spite of this, these animals are harmless to handle, just donít eat them. Kids (and adults) should simply remember to wash their hands after handling them.

Another important lesson to teach young (and old) amphibian lovers is to wash the hands BEFORE handling these delicate creatures, especially if those hands might be covered with sunscreen or insect repellent. These compounds can damage the skin of salamanders and frogs, and this can be deadly to them. It is a good idea to moisten your hands before holding frogs and salamanders in order to protect their skin.

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