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TIGER SALAMANDER

TIGER SALAMANDERAmbystoma tigrinum

Conservation Status: Low Risk / Least Concern

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CLASS

Amphibia

ORDER

Caudata

FAMILY

Ambystomidae

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General Characteristics:

Color: 

Dark brown , olive gray, or black, with many yellow, olive, or tan spots, streaks or blotches on the head, back, sides and tail. 

Size:

7-9 inches, record is 13 inches 

Weight:

3-4 oz.

Average Lifespan: 

Up to 20 years 

Captive Lifespan:

25 years 

Distribution:

Southeastern Alaska east to the southern part of Labrador, and south throughout all of the United States down to the southern edge of the Mexican Plateau. 

Habitat:

Woodlands, fields, marshes, farmlands and suburban areas with soil that can be burrowed into. 

Reproduction:

Mating: 

March or April 

Gestation/Incubation:

Incubation depends on water temperature, hatch in 20-30 days. Metamorphosis occurs  2.5-5 months after hatching.

Litter/Clutch Size:

100-400 eggs

Mature: 

2-5 years

Diet:

Small invertebrates, such as snails and slugs, earthworms, crustaceans, tadpoles and baby rodents

Behavior:

Adults live underground for most of the year and dig their own burrows. They have been found over 24 inches below the surface. They emerge to migrate to breeding ponds during spring rains and sometimes can be found on the surface at night during heavy rains.

Teaching Facts:

1. Largest land dwelling and the most widely distributed salamander in North America. 

2. Some populations produce neotinic individuals which do not metamorphose but instead mature and reproduce in the gilled larval form. 

3. Bury underground to seek proper humidity levels.