Eastern Tiger Salamander

Eastern Tiger Salamander   Ambystoma tigrinum

Type of Animal:

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.

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.

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

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:

Breeding from zoos, aquariums, & private breeders


Additional Info:


Male-4 oz
Female-4.4 oz

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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