Saturday, August 11, 2012

Eastern Tiger Salamander

Ambystoma tigrinum
The Eastern Tiger Salamandar is the largest land-dwelling Salamander is all of North America, and it also has the distinction of being the most widespread. You'll find these guys just about everywhere on the continent except in the coldest northern reaches-- they live throughout the United States, Mexico, and in most of Canada.

You can identify Eastern Tiger Salamanders by their large size and their blotchy green and black markings. As adults they are almost completely terrestrial, and live in burrows that can be as far as two feet underground. They live in a huge range of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and developed areas.

Adults are very loyal to their birthplace, and will return to that spot to breed int eh Spring. Larges numbers will congregate on a single spots, and males will have to isolate the females from the group in order to breed. Males will deposit spermatophores that are picked up by the females to fertilize the eggs. Sometimes other males will actually interrupt this process, deposing the first male on the scene and then placing his own spermatophores. Once the eggs are fertilized, they are laid in masses that number up to 100. The young Salamanders are completely aquatic, but grow very fast-- by the end of summer they have already become adults.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : North America
Size : Length up to 14in (36cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata --Class : Amphibia -- Order : Caudata
Family : Ambystomatidae -- Genus : Ambystoma -- Species : A. tigrinum

1 comment:

  1. I love salamanders, one was living in my front yard a couple of years ago. My family and I came back from a vacation at Mexico and it got in our luggage! x)


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