Click on pictures to enlarge
|Identification: Skin smooth, moist, sometimes
sticky; tail long; four toes on each front foot; maximum total length
about 35 cm (less than 14 inches). Color pattern ranges from black with
yellowish bars or spots to pale or dark with dark spots or mottling.
Adults stocky, with 11-14 grooves on each side of body; head broad, eyes
small; small bumps on bottom of feet.
Mature male: large dark papillae at rear end of vent during breeding season; tail relatively long.
|Larvae: Initially lack legs; front legs develop first, and hind legs develop after larvae are about 1 inch long; large larvae have three conspicuous pairs of gills and four gill slits on each side of neck; tail fin extends forward to about shoulder region; variable coloration.|
Eggs: Attached singly or in short rows or small clusters
to submerged plants or other objects.
Statewide, from high mountains to
lowest river valleys. Common.
View the distribution of observed Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) on a map
Habitat: Breeds in lakes, reservoirs, ponds,
and pools. When on land, usually in rodent burrows; most active on ground
surface at night during damp weather.
Life History: Breeds in spring or summer. Newly
metamorphosed salamanders may leave breeding sites in late summer or early fall.
Gilled larvae may become sexually mature and breed without ever leaving their
Note: Some herpetologists refer to this salamander as the Barred
Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium).