Tiger Salamander

STATUSLeast Concern


DIETWorms, slugs, snails, larvae, and small crustaceans

RANGESouthern Canada, eastern Mexico, and the Atlantic Coast; Southern New York to Florida

HABITATDamp mountainous forests, meadows, ponds, and slow-moving stream

Tiger Salamander

Physical Description

Tiger salamanders have rounded heads, thick bodies, and thick tails. They can be anywhere from 7-14 inches long. Coloration will vary by subspecies but can be black, brown, gray, or yellow with gray or yellow stripes and/ or spots.


Tiger salamander eggs and larvae are preyed on by a wide variety of animals including fish, water birds, insects, frogs, and other salamanders. Adults can be preyed on by snakes, skunks, badgers, raccoons, and owls.


They live an average of 12-15 years in the wild but have been known to live longer than that in human care.


Typically, adult tiger salamanders only enter a body of water when they are ready to breed. Courtship rituals vary by species. Females will lay small clusters of eggs which she will attach to underwater plants or debris. The eggs will hatch in about 2 weeks.

Fun Facts

  • Though they rarely enter water as adults, the tiger salamanders still need to keep their skin, moist and so they stay burrowed under leaf litter or in the ground during the day and come out at night to hunt.
  • They have the greatest range of any North American salamander and are one of the largest terrestrial salamanders in the US.

Conservation Messaging

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.

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