Vol. 18 No. 2 (2023)
Short Note

First data on the consumed prey by Speleomantes italicus from the Republic of San Marino

Sandro Casali
Centro Naturalistico Sammarinese - Istituto di Studi, Ricerche e Documentazione - Museo di Storia Naturale, Borgo Maggiore
Matteo Pagliarani
Centro Naturalistico Sammarinese - Istituto di Studi, Ricerche e Documentazione - Museo di Storia Naturale, Borgo Maggiore
Martina Cofani
Frazione Nebbiano 25 Fabriano, Ancona
Fabio Cianferoni
Istituto di Ricerca sugli Ecosistemi Terrestri (IRET), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Firenze
Enrico Lunghi
Dipartimento di Medicina clinica, Sanità pubblica, Scienze della Vita e dell’Ambiente (MeSVA), Università degli Studi dell’Aquila, L’Aquila

Published 2023-12-27


  • diet,
  • plethodontidae,
  • salamander,
  • stomach flushing,
  • urodela,
  • Hydromantes,
  • trophic niche
  • ...More

How to Cite

Casali, S., Pagliarani, M., Cofani, M., Cianferoni, F., & Lunghi, E. (2023). First data on the consumed prey by Speleomantes italicus from the Republic of San Marino. Acta Herpetologica, 18(2), 159–163. https://doi.org/10.36253/a_h-14748

Funding data


We here present the first study on the consumed prey by an epigean population of the Italian cave salamander (Speleomantes italicus) from the Republic of San Marino. Using the harmless technique of stomach flushing, we aimed to provide the first data on the diet and on the degree of individual specialization that characterizes the studied population. We performed two-night surveys (one in autumn 2022 and one in spring 2023) in which we opportunistically searched for salamanders in forested areas and dry walls. Captured salamanders were sexed, weighed, photographed, measured and stomach flushed. Overall, we inspected the stomach contents of 67 individuals, recognizing 1,018 prey items belonging to 28 different prey categories. The examined population was mainly composed by generalist individuals, and no differences in number and diversity of prey consumed were observed among salamanders. Contrarily to what has been observed in other Speleomantes species, flying prey provided a minor contribution to the diet of the investigated population. Our study produced the first information on the diet of Speleomantes italicus from the Republic of San Marino, representing the starting point for future assessments on the dietary habits of this specific population.


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