Project Description

Eastern Tiger Salamander

Ambystoma tigrinum

Animal Class: Amphibians

Length: 6-13 inches; average is 7-8 inches

Lifespan: 10-16 years

Diet: In the wild, they eat worms, insects, snails, and sometimes other salamanders. At the Zoo, they eat crickets and waxworms.

Habitat: Found in the United States along the east coast from southern New York to northern Florida and from Ohio west to Minnesota and south through eastern Texas. They also live in southern Canada, and eastern Mexico.

The tiger salamander has dark brown to black skin with yellow or olive colored spots or blotches. Their underside is yellow. They have a broad head with small, ‘buggy’ eyes, and a rounded snout. These salamanders also have a long tail. The tiger salamander’s skin has granular glands that secrete mucus to prevent moisture loss. If its skin dries out, the salamander’s respiratory system will fail. The mucus also helps maintain the salamander’s body-fluid level, as amphibians can absorb moisture through their skin. These salamanders can also secrete a toxic substance that deters predators.

Although they are not federally listed, they may be listed in areas of their range. For example, these salamanders are listed as endangered in the state of New York.

Our Animals: Tony and Tigger. These animals are also Ambassador Animals.