WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE

The tiger salamander is a large salamander. It can grow to be 330 mm long. They are usually an olive-green colour with dark patches or stripes on top, and a lighter coloured belly. Some can be dark gray all over.

The size of a tiger salamander .

Look-alikes: An adult tiger salamander has no look-alikes in Manitoba. The blue-spotted salamander is much smaller and is covered in blue spots. A young tiger salamander looks like a mudpuppy, but it has a rounder head than a mudpuppy and has 5 toes on its hind feet. A mudpuppy has only 4 toes.


NAME

This salamander gets its name because some of them have dark stripes like a tiger.


WHERE IT LIVES

Tiger salamanders live in forests and grasslands near ponds or wetlands. They can be found in most of central North America. In Manitoba they live in the southern and southwestern part of the province.

Where it lives in Manitoba.


HABITS

Tiger salamanders are most active at night. These salamanders like to dig. They hide under rocks or logs in the day and hunt for food at night. They can dig their own holes in soft earth or they will crawl down holes other animals dig. For winter they dig deep into the ground or go down a hole left by another animal.


FOOD WEB

These salamanders eat insects and other small animals without back bones such as spiders, worms and snails. Tiger salamanders grow large enough that they might even eat small frogs. Young salamanders eat insects and other small water animals.

Tiger salamanders taste bad to some birds and mammals. Snakes, such as the plains garter snake, are probably their main enemies. The young salamanders are eaten by wading birds like herons, and by turtles and snakes.


LIFE CYCLE

Tiger salamanders mate and lay their eggs in deep ponds in April and May. The female lays about 100 eggs. She lays them one at a time on rocks, plants or sticks on the bottom of the pond. It takes 20 days for the eggs to hatch. The young can change to adult shape and leave the pond in August, about 60 days after hatching. They are about 100 to 150 mm long when they change to adult shape.

Sometimes the young salamanders take more than one summer to grow big enough to change to adult shape. They can stay in the pond over winter and keep growing through the next summer. It can take nearly 400 days to go from being an egg to changing to adult shape.


NUMBERS

Tiger salamanders are very common in southwestern Manitoba. Because they spend most of their time burrowing under things they are hard to find. So no one knows how many there might be in one hectare.


SPECIAL THINGS

The tiger salamander is the largest salamander in the world that lives on land!

Some young tiger salamanders never grow up. They keep their gills and tail fin, and stay in the water all their lives.


USE BY PEOPLE

Some people use young tiger salamanders as bait to catch fish.