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eastern tiger salamander

eastern tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum)
Photo © Dr. Todd Pierson

Features and Behaviors

The eastern tiger salamander averages seven to eight and one-fourth inches in length. Its body is blue-black or brown-black with random, small, yellow blotches. The olive-yellow belly has dark stripes.

The eastern tiger salamander may be found statewide in Illinois. This species lives in woodlands, swamps, prairies, urban areas and farm fields. Active at night, it spends most of its time under ground. Breeding occurs in the spring, although migration to breeding ponds may occur in the fall. Clusters of 25 to 100 eggs are attached to objects on the bottom of a pond. A female may deposit about 1,000 eggs in a breeding season. Incubation depends on the temperature but averages three weeks. Larvae transform to the adult form from July through September. The tiger salamander eats any animal that it can catch, especially worms and insects.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Caudata
Family: Ambystomatidae

Illinois Status: common, native