COMMON NAME (SCIENTIFIC NAME)Ambystoma mexicanum
DIETMollusks, small fish, insects, zooplankton, and algae
RANGELake Xochimilco on Lake Chalco; Southern Mexico City
HABITATHigh altitude, still freshwater lakes
Axolotls are neotenic salamanders (meaning they retain certain larval characteristics as adults) that remain aquatic their entire life. They average 6-18 inches in length and weigh 2-8 oz. Wild axolotls are typically dark in color and have the ability to shift their hue a few shades lighter or darker as needed for camouflage. They have feathery external gills, but they also have fully functional lungs. They also have long tails, four legs and large, flat heads.
Some predators they may encounter include predatory birds and larger fish.
They live an average of 10-15 years.
Axolotls breed between March and June. After a mating waltz, the female will lay 300-1,000 eggs and attach them to protective substrate individually. The eggs will hatch 2 weeks later and will have no parental care.
In our Reptile and Amphibian (RAD) center you will find many different reptiles and amphibians including venomous and poisonous species of snakes and frogs. Many of these animals fall victim to habitat loss in the wild. Many of the species here are found in South American habitats which are subjected to deforestation, damming of rivers, water pollution, and poor agricultural and management practices.