Barred Tiger Salamander, Ambystoma mavortium

The Barred tiger salamander (Ambystoma mavortium) is also referred to as the Western tiger salamander. It’s a type of Mole salamander and a member of the Ambystomatidae family. This species ranges vastly from southwestern Canada in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, south through the western United States to Texas and into northern Mexico. Habitats often include forested or prairie areas near to a water source.

The common name, Barred tiger salamander, is derived from its dark brown or black coloration with yellow or orange barred stripes. Adult salamanders in this species vary in size and grow to lengths between 6 and 12 inches.

Barred tiger salamanders hunt at night due to their nocturnal and secretive nature. The species typically remains inactive for a better part of the day hiding under logs, leaves and brush. When feeding the Spotted salamander goes out willing to eat anything and often catches crickets, worms, insects, spiders and slugs.

Typically, the Barred tiger salamander will stay in hiding until they are ready for breeding season. Finding its way toward wetland, the female then lays fertilized eggs which cling onto underwater vegetation. The larval (newly hatched) stage is entirely aquatic and eventually the salamander morphs into a lung breathing land creature.

Image Caption: Barred tiger salamander, (Ambystoma mavortium). Credit: OpenCage/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.5)