The longest running Amphibian Community on the Internet.

Tags Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Store


Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) A dedicated topic for those seeking help with Axolotls, showing off your photos, or just to talk about them.



Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 13th January 2020   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 1
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: AbiFilm is an unknown quantity at this point
Question BBC Filming - Axolotl behaviours?

Hi everyone,

I work at the BBC and am thinking about the potential of filming axolotls as part of a new series. I am just wondering what interesting behaviour they show and thought you guys would be the perfect people to ask! I know one of the most interesting things about axolotls is their ability to regenerate limbs Ė however what I am interested in is their courtship display behaviours and behaviours towards eggs (for example behaviours such as folding individual eggs within a leaf as other species do).

It would be great to hear your thoughts! Thank you so much.


AbiFilm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 7
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: Tinamlat is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: BBC Filming - Axolotl behaviours?

The only courtship behavior I can think of off the bat would be that the male will nudge the femaleís hind end with his nose to stimulate her letting down eggs to be fertilized. Essentially she will walk around leaving a trail for him to then fertilize. I donít have any personal experience with mating but thatís what Iíve heard. Also Axolotls are known for their cute little yawns, that might be something youíd be interested in featuring. Another unique feature to Axolotls is that they stay in the neonatal phase Unlike most salamanders, and are fully aquatic, never leaving the water (except for rare cases).

Tinamlat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 97
Gallery Images: 3
Comments: 1
Rep: Kitan has given good advice and informationKitan has given good advice and information
Default Re: BBC Filming - Axolotl behaviours?

Close! What happens is the male leaves little sperm packets lying about and then nudges the female around to each packet in kind of a dance. When she is over the packet, she takes in the packets to fertilize her eggs. Then 12 to 72 hours later, she will lay up to 1,500 eggs (averaging between 150 and 450), individually, pretty much anywhere In wild, leucistic, and melanoid axolotls, these eggs will be black, while in albino, gold, and copper the eggs will be white. Mom has literally no maternal instinct and axolotls snap at pretty much anything that moves, so they will eat their young if they are not removed. Likewise, juvenile axolotls are well know for their cannibalistic tendencies, resulting in missing limbs if they are not separated until 5 inches in length.

For interesting behaviour, they seem MUCH more social and aware than say a fish would be, recognizing individual people and swimming up to meet them, even poking the tip of their snoots out to say hi. Mine will also swim over and rest in my hand....before trying to eat me XD Axolotl's actually ingest their food through sucking in water very quickly and, while they technically have teeth, they are more used for detaining prey as they dont have the jaw strength to actually hurt a human with them.

Another cute behaviour that goes along with the yawning, is that juveniles will go to the surface for air occasionally and can produce an adorable sound called barking as they quickly suck the air through the water's surface.

A very interesting trait, in addition to the regeneration you mentioned, is that they are one of the few creatures to exhibit neoteny, making them distinct from many other amphibians. Like most amphibians, they have a juvenile form adapted to water, but they never reach their adult form and, thus will spend their entire lives in the water. They do have rudimentary lungs, but these are under-developed and used as a secondary means of getting oxygen, with the primary being, of course, their branchial gills.

Kitan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3 Weeks Ago   #4
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 41
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: Murk has shown reliable knowledge
Default Re: BBC Filming - Axolotl behaviours?

As for "behaviour towards eggs", I think there is close to none; at least from my experience.
The female tries to attach the eggs to suitable surface (plants, decorations, whatever else is in the tank), but after that they don't seem to be paying any attention.
When mine ran out of plants, she just attached the eggs to the substrate. Their behaviour didn't seem to change.
Once the eggs started to move, I'm even sure she ate some of them.

Courtship behaviour can be interesting. The female releases pheromones that alert males to her willingness. The response from the males is fairly interesting, with bright red gills and frantic swimming around.
They plant packets of sperm on the ground and then try to direct the female towards those - there is indeed a lot of pushing snouts into stomachs involved. Depending on the eagerness of the female, it can be quite a silly struggle.

I should mention that I've seen this courtship "dance" in my all-male tank as well, though without the sperm or the eggs. Sometimes they just get it in their heads to start pushing others around.

Murk is offline   Reply With Quote

Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads

Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Filming axolotl :-) krobertson Axolotl General Discussion 1 13th April 2018 06:41
Axolotl Behaviours......The weird and wonderful gbed92 Axolotl General Discussion 11 31st July 2016 23:13
Tylototriton behaviours Sean90 Crocodile Newts (Tylototriton & Echinotriton)... 11 15th December 2012 15:18
Any Hellbenders for filming? BWSmith Large Aquatic Salamanders (Hellbenders/Cryptobranchids, Necturus, Siren, etc.) 1 1st October 2009 03:40
Odd behaviours in new axolotl... sas Axolotl General Discussion 6 29th July 2006 21:55

All times are GMT. The time now is 20:42.