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Checklist of Amphibian Species and Identification Guide

California Tiger Salamander, Ambystoma californiense


California Tiger Salamander California Tiger Salamander

The California Tiger Salamander was until recently considered a subspecies of Ambystoma tigrinum (A. t. californiense), but is now regarded as a separate species, Ambystoma californiense. This species can reach a maximum length of 8.5 inches. Like the some of the Tiger Salamanders further east, its color pattern consists of a dark background with a gray belly and light, yellow to cream colored spots. However, the spots are fewer and smaller on average than in the Tiger Salamanders (A. tigrinum spp.) that have a dark background dominating over light colored spots. The California Tiger Salamander is a winter breeder, migrating to the breeding site after sufficient rain has fallen. They utilize temporary ponds or fish free permanent ponds. Larvae require 2.5 - 3 months to reach metamorphosis.

Populations of the California Tiger Salamander in Santa Barbara County are federally listed in the USA as endangered. Habitat loss due to agriculture and urbanization, excessive use of pesticides and the introduction of fish are the major causes of this species decline. California Tiger Salamander Range

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