Eastern Tiger Salamander

ANIMAL:
Eastern Tiger Salamander   Ambystoma tigrinum

Type of Animal:
Salamander

Habitat:
Adults found under rocks, stumps, or in burrows of 2-6 ft deep below surface/ground, near/in lakes, ponds, slow-moving streams, marshes, & wetlands. Breed in temporary/permanent pools, natural ponds, manmade depressions filled w/ water, gravel pits, & farm ponds. Young salamanders live in ponds, lakes, wetlands, & slow-moving streams. Adults also live in forests, woodlands, fields, grasslands, prairies, & even semi-desert.

Location(s):
Found in Long Island, S New Jersey, Delaware, E Maryland, E Virginia, E North Carolina, much of South Carolina, S Georgia, Florida panhandle, Alabama, parts of Mississippi, parts of Tennessee, N Arkansas, Missouri (except CW part), NE Kansas, E Nebraska, SE South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, extreme SE Manitoba, Illinois, Michigan, C & S Wisconsin, Indiana, & W Ohio w/ disjunct population in E Texas.

Appearance:
Adults blotchy w/ grey, green, or black along w/ large lidded eyes, noticeable yellowish tiger markings, short snout, thick neck, long tail. Males slimmer w/ flatter tails, females rounded

Food/Diet:
Worms, insects, frogs, other salamanders (including smaller members of own species), insect larvae, mice, shrimp, spiders, zooplankton, grubs, snails, slugs, small fish, baby snakes, lizards, leeches, crayfish

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding from zoos, aquariums, & private breeders

Lifestyle:
Solitary

Additional Info:

Called:
Male
Female
Young-Eft
Group-Solitary

Weight:
Male-4 oz
Female-4.4 oz

Gestation:
1 month 

Life Span:
15 years

Body Length:
Male-1 ft
Female-0.8 ft
Young-2 in

Tail Length:
Male-5.39-6.1 in
Female-4.32-4.896 in

Main predators of adults are snakes, alligators, birds, turtles, carnivorous/omnivorous mammals, & bullfrogs. Larvae eaten by larger salamander larvae (including own species), adult salamanders (including own species), aquatic insects, newts, fish, frogs, & toads.

Adults migrate to breeding areas in late winter/early spring, w/ males attaching spermatophores to underwater rocks/logs. Females fertilize eggs w/ spermatophores. Eggs laid 1-2 days after courtship. Females can lay 100-1000 eggs per season, with eggs hatching a month later. Larvae remain in birth pool until subadult stage at 2.5-5 months old, not sexually mature until age 4. Some adults (neotenes) retain larval form whole life. Larvae that don’t metamorphose until fully adult called waterdogs. 2 morphs of larvae-normal & cannibal. Cannibal morph even more cannibalistic than normal & grow/metamorphose faster. Adults of this morph keep larger head/bigger mouth of larvae.

Fun Fact(s):
Waterdogs often used as fishing bait.

They can make good pets.

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