Tiger Salamander

(Ambystoma tigrinum)


Tiger Salamander IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

In general, adult tiger salamanders are large, reaching lengths of 35 cm, and are perhaps the longest terrestrial salamander. The dorsum of the Eastern tiger salamander is dark with irregular yellow,olive or brownish spots that expand at the tip of tail. Adult tiger salamanders are terrestrial and fossorial (bury themselves in the ground). In the wild, they are rarely seen above ground during the day, they mainly move about the surface at night. The breeding season is prompted by the first steady rains of the season. Mating takes place in slow moving or still, usually fish-less ponds. Eggs adhere to submerged debris, including rocks, vegetation, logs, etc. Hatchlings are approximately 15 mm in length. Larval Tiger Salamanders can therefore be found in cool, fis-hless ponds or temporary water bodies in their particular region. The young hatch after about 4 weeks and after another 17 weeks they metamorphose to the adult form.

Did you know?
Tiger salamanders are quick, squirmy, and have the tendency to bite when disturbed or if threatened.They have often been noted as 'begging' for food upon recognition of their owners voice, or other cue.If the temperature goes below 5 to 10°C Tiger salamanders tend to hibernate. They stop eating and moving. But it seems that this hibernation is important for the reproduction.


Name (Scientific) Ambystoma tigrinum
Name (English) Tiger Salamander
Name (French) Salamandre tigre
Name (German) Tigersalamander
Name (Spanish) Salamandra Tigre de América del Norte
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Not listed



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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service



Range Canada, Mexico, United States of America (Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota south-east area, Nebraska eastern part, Iowa, Kansas northeast, Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas north, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida north, Mississippi, the Atlantic coast of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey).
Habitat Tiger Salamanders inhabit areas near bodies of water, including damp forest areas, woodlands, pastures, orchards, pine barrens, and arid plains, where the soil is easily burrowed. They are fossorial, meaning they burrow into the substrate (soft, moist soil) or inhabit abandoned burrows made by other animals.
Wild population One of the most abundant Ambystoma species. The total adult population size is unknown but surely exceeds 1,000,000. The population trend is stable (Red List IUCN 2012)
Zoo population 211 specimens belonging to six different subspecies reported to ISIS (2007).

In the Zoo

Tiger Salamander


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 45 or 51 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


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Why do zoos keep this animal

This is not a threatened species. Zoos and aquariums keep tiger salamanders primarily for educational reasons (there are other amphibians than frogs!), and because it they are very colourful, they are also a good ambassador species for amphibian conservation.