Common Names: Anderson’s Salamander, Achoque
Scientific Name: Ambystoma andersoni
Family: Ambystomatidae – Mole Salamander family
Size: 4 – 5.5 inches (100 – 140 mm)
The Anderson’s Salamander lives in the Laguna de Zacapu in the Mexican state of Michoacán at elevations of over 6500 feet (2000 meters). They are a neotenic species of salamander, keeping their larval features, such as their gills, throughout their life. This means they are fully aquatic and never leave the water. Don’t confuse this guy with the Axolotl. While both are found in Mexico, the Axolotl was found near Mexico City.
The Anderson’s Salamander is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. Introduced predatory fish have been eating them and people also eat them. The area around the lake is used for tourism and agriculture, creating pollution problems. These problems must be solved to keep the salamanders around.