Tiger Salamander


What is Tiger Salamander?

Tiger Salamander is a species of amphibian family of the animal kingdom. They belong to the burrowing category.


Find some interesting facts about tiger salamander.

  • Tiger salamanders secret a slimy substance which is poisonous to other animals.
  • Fish, toads, and other aquatic animals eat up tiger salamander larvae and thus they produce the poisonous mucus to protect themselves.
  • Before mating male tiger salamanders mimic a female tiger salamander to slink in and drop his germ cells on rival male tiger salamanders.
  • Tiger salamanders’ tails do not possess fracture regions.
  • Some of the smaller species of tiger salamanders do not have lungs and they breathe by the gular pumping.
  • Tiger salamanders are one of the endangered species nowadays.


Tiger Salamander Picture
Picture 1 – Tiger Salamander
Source – netstate

  • Length – Tiger Salamanders mostly grow till 9inches to 12inches. Though sometimes, some of them can grow till 14inches.
  • Head – Tiger salamander has a blunt nose, flat head, and small eyes. Their heads resemble to toads.
  • Tail – Tiger salamander has a long and thick tail, which are toxic.
  • Feet – Tiger salamander has four sturdy feet, two in the front and two at the back. The front feet have four toes and five toes at the back.
  • Colors – Tiger salamanders come in a wide range of colors. Usually they come in dark grey, green, black, and blue base on the skin. Their skins are spotted, barred, patched, or stripped with white, orange, or yellow. There are also albinos amongst the tiger salamander species.
  • Skin – Skin of tiger salamander is scale-less, moist and shiny.

Natural Habitat

Being an amphibian tiger salamanders are found near water bodies only during monsoon, which is their breeding season. They are usually found near marshes, streams, ponds, and other small aqua bodies.

Images of Tiger Salamander
Picture 2 – Tiger Salamander Image
Source – wikispaces

Apart from monsoons the tiger salamanders could be found in field, forests, prairies, and other soft ground lands, where they can hideaway under the tree leaves, or underground, or under the litter.

Life Span

On average tiger salamanders live for about a time span of 12yrs to 15yrs.

They attain their sexual adulthood at the age of 4yrs to 5yrs.


Tiger salamander is found near South Dakota, near west river, and east of the Missouri river. Some of the species are found in northeastern parts of the state and some are found in southeastern counties.


There are many sub-species of tiger salamanders.

Eastern Tiger Salamander

Eastern Tiger Salamander is generally dark brown or black skinnerd with blotches or spots of yellow or olive. Scientific name of Eastern Tiger Salamander is Ambystoma tigrinum. It is foud near Nebraska, eastern Texas, Kansas, and New York.

Barred Tiger Salamander

Barred Tiger Salamander is also dark brown or black skinned with yellow vertical stripes on it. Scientific name of Barred Tiger Salamander is Ambystoma mavortium mavortium. It is found near southern Texas, central Colorado, new Mexico, and central Nebraska.

Arizona Tiger Salamander

Arizona Tiger Salamnder is black or dark brown skinned with tiny and very few yellow spots on it. Scientific name of Arizona Tiger Salamander is Ambystoma mavortium nebulosum. It is found near Arizona, Utah, new Mexico, and central Colorado.

Blotched Tiger Salamander

Blotched Tiger Salamander is smaller in size than Arizona Tiger Salamnder. It has light grey, or pale ground colored skin with webbed dark markings on it. Scientific name of Blotched Tiger Salamander is Ambystoma mavortium melanostictum. It is found near southwest Saskatchewan, northwest Colorado, Nebraska, and southern Alberta.

Grey Tiger Salamander

Grey Tiger Salamander is brown and olive skinned with black spots on it. Scientific name of Grey Tiger Salamander is Ambystoma mavortium diaboli.

Sonoran Tiger Salamander

Sonoran Tiger Salamander resembles to Arizona Tiger Salamander or Barred Tiger Salamander. Scientific name of Sonoran Tiger Salamander is Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi. It varries in colors. It is found in Patagonia Mountains and Huachara.

Endangered Species

Tiger salamanders are now becoming endangered more than ever. Their habitats are usually the water bodies in monsoons, where there are lots of fishes which are their predators. Sometimes even when humans are fishing the tiger salamanders also get caught in the fishing rod and are killed.

Other parts of the year the tiger salamanders reside in the forest and other marsh lands where they dig under the soil. Sometimes they even get squashed under the traffic.

Humans are getting interested in petting tiger salamanders and thus they have a growing demand in the black market as well. Not always that the tiger salamanders get tamed and accustomed to the new environment, and they eventually die out of the change in their natural habitat.

As Pets

Tiger salamanders are becoming more popular as pets than ever. People are taking initiative in housing sager reptiles nowadays.


The cage should be ideally 15gallons for one tiger salamander. The housing should be provided by the natural ambience of the tiger salamanders as much as possible. It should have parts of both land and water bodies. The cage should not come in contact with any pesticide. The ground should be provided with a thick layer of soil to allow the tiger salamander digging in it.

Some rocks, aquatic plants, etc. nee to be placed in the water body for the female tiger salamanders to help attach their eggs while breeding.


Tiger salamanders require a daytime temperature of 68degree to 72degree F, and at night they require around 50degree to 60degree temperature.


Tiger salamanders require quite a high level of humidity, around 70%.


Tiger salamanders should be ideally fed in every 2-3days. They survive on bugs, insects, smaller amphibians, etc. They are not very selective regarding food.


After mating, the female tiger salamanders lay eggs, which they hide attaching them to the aquatic plants, logs, and stones under water. It takes around 4weeks for the eggs to hatch, and comes out small larvae which have feathery gills.

The larvae stay under water till they reach semi-adulthood. At this stage they tend to shift to more earthly plots. The tiger salamanders become eligible enough for sexual activities at around 4-5years.

The tiger salamander eggs can grow into cannibal and normal morph larvae, and neotenic, air-breathing cannibal, and only air-breathing adults.


Check out the pictures of Tiger Salamander to know more about its appearance.

Photos of Tiger Salamander
Picture 3 – Tiger Salamander Photo
Source – statesymbolsusa

Pictures of Tiger Salamander
Picture 4 – Tiger Salamander Image
Source – pictureshunt

Tiger Salamander Diet Facts

Tiger salamanders feed on worms, little mice, insects, other smaller amphibians like tadpoles, small snails, etc. Tiger salamanders are used to eating once in every 2-3days at least. Calcium and vitamins are a must in their diets.

Tiger Salamander Poisonous Fact

Tail of tiger salamanders are toxic and if by chance are eaten then death is inevitable. Some species of tiger salamander secrete mild poison in form of mucus on their skin. Though not fatal but this poison can cause serious harm to human beings.

Tiger salamanders are a wonderful species of amphibian family, which is endangered now. They need to be conserved. They can be wonderful pets if kept properly. But if thought to be petted then they need lot of care and a surrogate natural atmosphere.

43 thoughts on “Tiger Salamander

  1. j June 13, 2011 at 6:39 pm #



    PPPRRAAISE!!!!!!!! JESUS!!!!!!!

    • Lucifer April 10, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

      I know where you could buy salamanders for pets. They are easy to take care of and are fun to watch!

      • cindy August 20, 2012 at 10:50 am #

        Our salamander of 15 years just passed and looking for another where can you buy them at?

      • Shane September 21, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

        Where can I buy Salamanders

        • Ryan February 8, 2015 at 8:46 pm #

          Go on Amazon

    • tanya April 9, 2013 at 12:28 am #

      these things are cute i once had a pet salamander :p

  2. shane hartnett July 6, 2011 at 2:22 am #

    eastern tiger salamanders can live for 25 years and prefer temps between 60 and 75 degres farenhight

    sorry my spellings so bad

  3. shane hartnett July 6, 2011 at 2:25 am #

    and its best not to feed tiger salamanders mice on a regular bases or thay will get VERY fat

  4. Darby Schabacker July 24, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    We accuired 2 salamanders from a field biology class. And have been taking care of them for almost 4 weeks. They are still in the tadpole stages of life. They are called “Waterdogs” I can not find any information about waterdogs but know they eat small tadpoles and can eat 10 in a day. Their color is starting to darken and their gills are very furry. I will post again in 2 week if big changes occure.

  5. Kalee Brown August 3, 2011 at 3:00 am #

    My boyfriend recently brought home 12 of these awesome creatures! Not sure I like them or know what to do with them but they are pretty neat.

  6. Randon August 15, 2011 at 3:30 am #

    I found a tiger salamander under a trailer house my mom and dad was getting ready to move i named him tiger, I love him

  7. joshua September 1, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    what if you get the slimy stuff on your fingers

    • miatortilla April 21, 2012 at 5:21 am #

      idk it was bad till i read this and then i thought back to my tiger salamander and i held him and he was fine and i was fine i think he was a barred salamander so i hope this helped 🙂 we found him outside and he just walked into our hand so we figured he had been a pet so we kept him he died when we forgot to put water in his cage he dried out 🙁

    • GPSpector August 8, 2013 at 2:29 am #

      Wash your hands.

      Also, it is best not to handle them due to the oils in your skin is poisonous to them and can make them sick or could kill them.

  8. Amber M September 15, 2011 at 3:04 am #

    I have a tiger salamander and he’s the cutest pet I’ve ever had, he’s a little timid at times but still has a personality as strange as it may seem. I am worried as there are black spots spearing on him out of no where and eyes are starting to get a film over them, does any know what this may be and how I can fix it? I’m afraid to loose him, he’s only 3 years old I believe… Can anyone help

    • Benny d March 26, 2012 at 3:36 am #

      Cleaner water

  9. B Wagner September 15, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

    I found TWO of these in my basement. Wow, I guess I’m lucky since they are endangered.

  10. betty demchak October 15, 2011 at 4:37 am #

    i just resentley had a tiger lizard in my dogs water bowl i went out to take him out for the day and was about to dump the water that was left in it out but then i spotted him/her and it is buitiful i didnt want anything to happin to it so i have it in the house till i can buy a tank for it its doing good eating and just being normal i guess im hoping maybe i can come across another one soon maybe they will be differnt and then ill have female and male im not much of a insect or lizard lover but i just fell in love with this one and im hopeing he stays alive cuz hes so buitiful and they are hard to find and i was very lucky i got the chance to have him my question is if i touch it will i get sick or if one of the kids touch it can they get sick please email me back with information

    • Charlotte October 24, 2011 at 2:11 am #

      Its best not to handle them. The salt and oils on our skin are not good for them

  11. Adam Perkins December 23, 2011 at 6:07 am #


  12. Emilie January 25, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    I came across a tiger salamander in my shop about a week ago. This is probably the biggest salamander I’ve ever seen in real life. I ended up putting it in my terrarium because I was afraid my cat was going to get it. It is a really neat animal and seems to be adjusting well to his new environment. I haven’t decided whether to keep it or donate it to my university’s Biology department since they helped me identify what kind of salamander it is. Is there any way to tell if it is a male or female just from looking at it?

    • Benny d March 26, 2012 at 3:40 am #

      Look at the Bottem were the tail starts if the u see small tesies its a biy if u see a line or crease its a girl

    • Angela April 1, 2012 at 3:32 am #

      You can see two little “balls” on the males.

    • Danny September 10, 2012 at 9:51 am #

      my Buddy said taht if its male it should have a bumb at the base of its tail

  13. Jaylin LaMontagne March 18, 2012 at 4:40 am #

    Last October I found a Tiger Salamander in my yard but we found it under a log in full view.I decided to name him Sele he is the only salamander I know that has an attitude. Whenever I touch him he doesnt do anything but when my stepmom touches him he freaks out he just hates her.I think im the only one in my house that will let me touch him when my stepmom just comes near him he starts swinging his tail he has even tried biting her. Does anyone know why he hates her or how he even knows the difference between us when hes not even looking

  14. Destiny March 25, 2012 at 5:32 am #

    If u do touch them what will it do to u

  15. Angela April 1, 2012 at 3:30 am #

    I had news and salamanders as a kid and just loved them! I just got 3 salamanders from a friend and have them all set up in a big reptile aquarium. They have a waterfall, a pond, an overturned log, several semi-aquatic plants, and their substrate is several mosses and bark. All natural, no chemicals or dyes. They are very happy! Already digging under, eating good, swimming, and exploring. Yea!

  16. Zelly May 2, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    I just recently found two Tiger Salamanders in my garden and I think they are the coolest things ever. I named one of them Butch because he thinks every thing is food especially fingers and the other one is Sharky because he likes to drown the bugs he catches. Sharky is very sweet. I thought it was crazy when I figured out that they were endangered because there are so many at the drainage pond near my house. They really like worms meal worms and the pupas from the meal worms along with the beetles from the meal worms. They are also very easy to train. I can just tap on the cage top befor I take it off to feed them and they both come out of thier caves. If I make a clicking noise then Sharky will crawl into my hand… I’ve only had them for about 2 weeks now.

  17. Amber June 28, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    Ive been taking care of a tiger salamander that I rescued from being eaten by my mother’s golden retriever and a couple barn cats that we own…ive had him/her for the past year…but recently weve let it go.

  18. Samantha August 5, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    I just found two of these in my backyard today and three in my backyard last summer. One of the ones we found today is near death. We named them; paco, albin, Samuel, Simon, and perpetua.

  19. Noelle J August 7, 2012 at 5:16 am #

    I have lived in Colorado 34 years and never knew these were “common” in our area. I rescued one thinking it was a pet someone threw out-my son wants “spot” to stay. I need all the info and advice I can get.

  20. Sheri August 7, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    I just discovered one in my horse’s water tank. It is about 4 inches long. My concern is that one of my horses or my cat will bite it (poison???) while taking a drink on these hot days. Should I remove it or leave it alone to eat the bugs?

  21. Carla August 9, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    My Husband and I were on a hike and we discovered a huge pond hidden in some thick mountain terrain that had well over a fifty (or more) Tiger Salamander. It was a site to see considering we had never even heard of a Tiger Salamander. The Tiger Salamander,s was huge, I couldn’t believe it. We could see them in the pond, but could not decide if they were fish do to the size of the Tiger Salamander. After doing some research it does not say much about Tiger Salamanders in Utah so my question to you is..is it common to find Tiger Salamander in Utah.

  22. dime bag darrell August 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    how much are these thing worth??

    • GPSpector August 8, 2013 at 2:26 am #

      Here in Colorado, I found one in a window well. I decided to keep it. When I went to PetSmart to get info, I found out that here in Colorado, it is ok to have them as pets but it is illegal to buy or sell them here.

  23. Danny September 10, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    What is the proper way of holding one of these amazing lizzards?

    • GPSpector August 8, 2013 at 2:34 am #

      Simple answer: You don’t. They are very sensitive to the oils in your skin and it can make them very sick. also, they can secret a slim that is poisonous. It is designed to kill most animals that eat it but it would probably just make you sick if you get it on you and you wash your hand before preparing food or sticking your fingers in your mouth.

  24. cj November 8, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

    we have recently found one of these at the dried up river where everyone goes 4 wheeling at…..i played with it and held it alot! and i mean..hours at a time! i kissed it alot….and then became horribly sick,sicker than i have ever been in my life!!! i bled internally,and it was alot like a stomach virus,but worse…i sat on the toilet,with the trash can in front of me…for hours! i was this sick for 5 days…..it was from the salamander. we are letting it go,because we have a 6 and 7 year old who just can’t resist! its also endangered,and i’d feel horrible if it died in captivity!!! i like to keep the house cold…

  25. JDAVIS1113 March 11, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    North Central Indiana! Tiger Salamander spotted! He was on the sidewalk, in 40 degree weather! I have him in an aquarium now! Feeding him earthworms till it gets warm out, then I will let him hang out in the yard!

  26. bailey May 11, 2013 at 3:41 am #

    i dont have to go enyware for a tiger salemander i get salemander eggs every year in my pond me and my little sisster catch like20 a DAY!so if you need salemanders come to my house

  27. Billy May 22, 2013 at 3:11 am #

    hey guys, I think i have found a tiger salamander, it was under a bag of trash in the yard and it is missing left front leg. I think a cat drug it from a small pond near the house. Its about 4 or 5 inches long hefty tail, olive green with like white splotchy spots and a few black spots. Is there a way to post the pictures of it on here? so i can know for sure what I found? I think its very young.

  28. Annie May 28, 2013 at 6:47 am #

    I found a tiger salamander two days ago been reaserching for what it was till yesterday glad i could have some good advice question though dos the soil have to be wet and piced down and how many plants do they need i have a bunch but i need to know if its enoughf oh and if your wondering im 12 takin good care of it have a good tank and i found him at a comunity garden in greatfallls montana in some compost and how deep dose the water neeed to be sory if i spelled things wrong

  29. Mike March 26, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

    I touched the tail and it spewed something on me, what will happen?

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