Characteristics and Behavior:
The tiger salamander is a large, stocky amphibian with a wide head and rounded snout. They can reach up to 8 inches in length and feature dark coloration with distinct yellow splotches, which helps to camouflage them in their environment. While widespread, they live underground most of the year. In Florida, tiger salamanders may breed in depression marshes, basin marshes, sinkhole ponds, dome swamps, hardwood swamps, and sandhill lakes. Tiger salamanders are solitary creatures that are active primarily at night and can often be found in burrows or hiding under logs during the day. They are known to be voracious predators, feeding on a variety of insects, worms, and other small animals.
- Tiger salamanders are found throughout North America, from southern Canada to Florida
- They are adaptable to a wide range of habitats, from grasslands to forests to wetlands, but are typically found near bodies of water such as ponds, lakes, and streams.
- They prefer areas with loose soil or sandy substrate that makes it easier for them to dig burrows for shelter and protection.
- Tiger salamanders are known for their unique ability to transform from a fully aquatic larva to a terrestrial adult.
- After hatching from eggs laid in the water, the larvae undergo a series of metamorphic stages that can take up to two years to complete.
- Once they reach adulthood, they breed in the water and lay their eggs in masses attached to vegetation.
- Tiger salamanders are able to regenerate lost limbs, tails, and even parts of their brain and spinal cord.
- During dry periods, tiger salamanders are able to survive by aestivating (entering a state of suspended animation).
- The tiger salamander is the official state amphibian of Kansas and Colorado.