Other Amphibian of the Week

California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense)

photo by John Cleckler

Common Name: California Tiger Salamander
Scientific Name: Ambystoma californiense
Family: Ambystomatidae – Mole Salamander family
Location: United States – California
Size: 8 inches (20.32 cm)

The California Tiger Salamander is a large, fossorial salamander. They are poor burrowers and rely on other animals to make their homes. They stay underground until November and come up to breed. This is usually brought on by heavy rains. The salamanders will travel up to a mile to find a pond to breed in. The females can lay as many as 1300 eggs.

photo by William Flaxington

The California Tiger Salamander is a federally listed endangered species and a federally listed threatened species. The salamanders in Sonoma County and Santa Barbara are endangered while the salamanders in Central Valley are listed as threatened. They are listed primarily because the habitats they call home have been destroyed to make room for farms and cities. Other threats are invasive American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) are known to eat the salamanders and mosquitofish, which are used to manager mosquito levels, also eat them.


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