barred tiger salamander

(Ambystoma mavortium)

Conservation Status

 

No Image Available

  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Barred tiger salamander is a very large salamander, one of the largest salamanders in North America. It is common within its range but in Minnesota that range barely extends into the westernmost counties.

It has a broad head, a stout body, and a long tail. The skin is smooth and somewhat slippery. The color pattern varies significantly across the geographic range of the species, from a grayish-black background with brownish-yellow irregular blotches, to a brownish-yellow background with grayish-black irregular blotches. There are 11 to 14 vertical grooves on the side of the body. There are four toes on each front foot.

 
     
 

Voice

 
 

 

 
     
 

Size

 
 

 

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Almost any habitat that includes a nearby lake, pond, stream, or pool in which to breed.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Behavior

 
 

This salamander, like all salamanders, is rarely encountered. It spends the day in an rodent burrow, coming out at night to feed. It is sometimes seen in the spring or fall during or just after a heavy rain crossing a road between an upland site and a pond.

 
     
 

Lifespan

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Breeding takes place in the early spring, often before the ice has cleared from the surface of the pond. To initiate breeding, the male will nudge a female then deposit a sperm capsule on the pond bottom. The female picks up the sperm capsule. After fertilization the female lays up to 1,000 eggs, depositing them singly or in very small clusters on submerged vegetation.

The eggs hatch in 2 to 5 weeks. The larvae are usually about 5 long. They have large external gills and a prominent tail fin (caudal fin) that extends from just behind the head on the upper side to the belly on the underside, wrapping around the tail. Larvae may metamorphose into sexually mature adults in their first or second summer, or they may become sexually mature without metamorphosis. The sexually mature, non-metamorphosed adult is known as a waterdog.

Adults overwinter in burrows or under logs or other debris. Their lifespan is 10 to 25 years.

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

Aquatic invertebrates, plankton, and other salamander larvae.

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Earthworms, insects, and other invertebrates; occasionally small reptiles and amphibians; other salamanders.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

14, 29, 73.

 
  9/28/2015      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common and widespread

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Amphibia (amphibians)  
  Superorder Batrachia (frogs and salamanders)  
  Order Caudata (salamanders)  
  Suborder Salamandroidea (advanced salamanders)  
 

Family

Ambystomatidae (mole salamanders)  
 

Genus

Ambystoma  
       
 

Until recently, this salamander was considered a subspecies of eastern tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum). Based on genetic analysis, that species was broken up and three of the subspecies were elevated to species rank, including Ambystoma mavortium. Most print resources and many online resources still classify this salamander Ambystoma tigrinum melanostictum.

 
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Arizona tiger salamander (Ambystoma mavortium nebulosum)

barred tiger salamander (Ambystoma mavortium mavortium)

blotched tiger salamander (Ambystoma mavortium melanostictum)

gray tiger salamander (Ambystoma mavortium diaboli)

Sonoran tiger salamander (Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Ambystoma mavortia

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

barred tiger salamander

western tiger salamander

 
       

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 

Ambystoma mavortium
John Clare

  Ambystoma mavortium  

Ambystoma mavortium
Jake Scott

  Ambystoma mavortium  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
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Other Videos
 
  Neoteny in Tiger Salamander, Ambystoma mavortium/tigrinum, Neotenic
Bryan Maltais
 
   
 
About

Published on Mar 15, 2012

An excerpt from "Metamorphosis: Tale of a Wetland", The neotenic Barred Tiger Salamanders from Ft. Collins, Colorado,

 
  Blotched Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum melanostictum)
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 7, 2013

This very large Blotched Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum melanostictum) measures 23 cm or 9 inches in length. This salamander was captured, photographed, and released (with a smaller companion specimen, measuring 18 cm or 7 inches), this Saturday morning, 07 September 2013, at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota.

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
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