A wild salamander eats slugs, worms and small arachnids such as spiders and millipedes. One example of a wild salamander is the spotted salamander, which leaves its burrow at night to hunt these creatures. The giant Japanese salamander, which lives in water and can grow to be nearly 5 feet long and 50 years old, eats fish, insects, crustaceans and worms; it has also been known to take small mammals.
The olm, a blind, aquatic, cave-dwelling salamander, eats insects, crabs and snails. Because it is blind, it must rely on its other senses to find its prey. Able to store additional nutrients in its liver, the olm salamander can eat large amounts of food at one time and then go without feeding for long periods.
Some salamanders, such as the tiger salamander and the blackbelly salamander, are cannibalistic. The blackbelly salamander tends to eat the adults and tadpoles of other types of salamanders, while tiger salamander tadpoles tend to eat one another.
Like frogs, many salamanders use a sticky tongue to grab their prey and close their eyes to help them swallow. Aquatic salamanders grab their prey with their teeth and use the motion of their bodies to tear it to pieces.