The Salamander is a reptilian creature who dwells in fire. In the Castlevania series, it commonly appears as a serpent-like dragon who flies through the air, rather than the lizard-like animal from which it takes its name, and is heavily associated with the Fire element.
It usually appears throughout the series as a spell which will summon this creature to deal heavy fire damage to all enemies on screen.
The salamander is an amphibian of the order Urodela which, as with many real creatures, often has been ascribed fantastic and sometimes occult qualities by pre-modern authors (as in the allegorical descriptions of animals in medieval bestiaries) not possessed by the real organism. The legendary salamander is often depicted as a typical salamander in shape, with a lizard-like form, but is usually ascribed an affinity with fire, sometimes specifically elemental fire.
The association of the salamander with fire appeared first in ancient Greece, where Pliny the Elder writes in his Natural History that "a salamander is so cold that it puts out fire on contact. It vomits from its mouth a milky liquid; if this liquid touches any part of the human body, it causes all the hair to fall off and the skin to change color and break out in a rash." The ability to put out fire is repeated by Saint Augustine in the 5th century and Isidore of Seville in the 7th century.
Legends have developed around the salamander over the centuries, many related to fire. This connection likely originates from the tendency of many salamanders to dwell inside rotting logs. When placed into a fire, the salamander would attempt to escape from the log, lending to the belief that salamanders were created from flames.
The first appearance of a salamander in the series was in Dracula X. However, this creature was only called "Salamander" by name, as it was really the Dracula X version of the Serpent from Rondo of Blood. Instead of being a fire-elemental dragon, this creature dwelt underwater and couldn't fly through the air (although it still had the ability to breath fire).
- In some Castlevania games, the Salamander resembles either the Intruder enemy from the Gradius series, or Zelos (dragon form) from the Salamander series, both also from Konami. These enemies are portrayed as serpent-like dragons engulfed in flames, who can shoot fireballs from their mouths while trying to make contact with the player's ship by slithering through the air.