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Reptiles and Amphibians of North Dakota

Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum)

species distribution map JPG -- Species Photo JPG -- Species Photo JPG -- Species Photo


Tiger salamanders are found throughout North Dakota. These salamanders can grow quite large. Adults are commonly found from 6-13 inches long. As the name implies, tiger salamanders are usually bicolored. One color describes the background or body of the animal, while the other color describes the pattem. Background colors range from gray, black, and brown, to olive green. The pattens may be spots, bands, bars, or blotches of various sizes, shapes and color. Eastern tiger salamanders exhibit black as a background color and a pattem of yellowish-brown spots that vary in size and shape.

Tiger salamanders are often seen at night after a heavy rainfall. This is even more true during the breeding season. They live in almost any damp place; debris near water, damp cellars, and even small mammal burrows.

Gray tiger salamanders are a common subspecies of the tiger salamander found in eastern North Dakota. Their background color can vary from olive-green to dark brown with a pattem of small dark spots.

The blotched tiger salamander is another subspecies of the tiger salamander that is found in the center of our state. Its coloration is olive-green with black blotches which may form a netlike pattern on the back.

Salamanders will eat almost anything, especially nightcrawlers.


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