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Mole Salamanders: Ambystomatidae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Tiger Salamander (ambystoma Tigrinum): Species AccountGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, MOLE SALAMANDERS AND PEOPLE


Mole salamanders live in North America from southern Canada to just south of Mexico City, Mexico.

Mole salamanders live in woodlands and grasslands, including partially dry pine and juniper woodland with vernal pools, ponds, or streams for breeding. A vernal (VUHR-nehl) pool is one that forms in the spring but then dries up for the rest of the year. Species that do not go through metamorphosis live in large lakes, as long as there are no predatory fish around.

Mole salamanders are predators as both larvae and adults. They eat insects, earthworms, crustaceans, frog tadpoles, and even baby rodents. Crustaceans (krus-TAY-shuns), such as crayfish, are water-dwelling animals that have jointed legs and a hard shell but no backbone.

People in Mexico eat mole salamanders. Everywhere they live, mole salamanders give important clues about the health of the environment.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceAmphibians