Tiger Salamander: A Large Amphibian Found in North America

Posted on June 13, 2019

Tiger Salamander

Tiger salamanders are an amphibian found in North America. The grow up to 14 inches in length but are typically about 6 to 8 inches long as adults. They can live for up to 15 years.

Some U.S. subspecies of tiger salamanders include the California Tiger Salamander, Barred Tiger Salamander and the Eastern Tiger Salamander.

Description

The sticky salamanders generally have an overall dark coloring often with lighter spots or bars. The California variety (Ambystoma californiense) has white or yellow bars. The salamanders have four toes on their front feet and five toes on their back feet.

Habitat

Tiger salamanders can be found all over North America but are most common near bodies of water and streams. The salamanders return to the water to lay their eggs. The larvae are aquatic so a water source is required until the larvae reaches adulthood. The salamanders are mostly terrestrial as adults. They dig burrows up to 2 feet long as adults and spend much of their time underground.

Diet

The salamander is a carnivore. Tiger salamanders like to feed at night when they emerge from their burrows to eat worms, insects, snails, very small mammals and small amphibians. They are also known to eat algae.

Hunting

Here's a video of a tiger salamander on the hunt from National Geographic. It catches several cockroaches by surprise thanks to its stealth and camouflaged skin.



Predators

Creatures that might eat this large salamander include birds of prey, snakes, badgers, raccoons, large turtles, owls and reptiles.

Additional Resources

Image: Gary Stolz, USFWS,