Eastern Tiger Salamander

From Ohio History Central
Eastern Tiger Salamander.jpg

The tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) is the world's largest land salamander. It gets its name from the light spots or bars on a dark body. It has a broad head and small eyes.

The tiger salamander is a member of the mole salamander family. Members in this animal family are burrowers, spending most of their lives underground. They have well developed lungs, unlike salamanders who belong to the lungless family.

Its habitat is varied, including woodlands with sandy soils, moist meadows, and burrows of mammals and invertebrates This salamander rarely comes above ground except in the evening after a rain or during breeding season, which begins in March and goes through June. At this time, there is a mass migration of tiger salamanders to large bodies of water, including ponds, streams, lakes and even temporary pools. When they arrive near the water, males and females begin a ceremony of pushing and nose rubbing. The females will then lay 25-50 eggs that will stick to underwater debris. After they hatch, it takes about three weeks before they lose their gills and become full adults. Life expectancy of the tiger salamander is 12-15 years.

Typical foods in their diet include large insects, earthworms, amphibians and small mice.

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