Eastern Tiger Salamander
• Family: Ambystomatidae (Mole Salamanders)
• Length: 7-8.25 inches
• Peak Breeding Activity: March-June
• Typical Foods: worms, snails, insects, and slugs
The Eastern tiger salamander is the world's largest terrestrial salamander. It is stoutly built, with a broad head and small eyes. Its color is variable, generally with lighter colored spots against a dark background.
Habitat and Habits
Like the smaller spotted salamander, tiger salamanders are burrowers making sandy or friable soils a key habitat requirement.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
The massive migration of adults to larger bodies of water where they breed is a magnificent sight. Once at their breeding grounds, these salamanders engage in an elaborate pushing, nose-rubbing courtship dance during which the male deposits sperm packets. The female takes these into her body to fertilize her eggs. After laying eggs, the egg mass swells to fist-size and the young hatch after three weeks. They lose external gills and become full adults in July.