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Tiger Salamander & Axolotl (Ambystoma tigrinum, A. mavortium spp, etc.) The Tiger Salamanders and the Axolotl are so popular amongst hobbyists that they have been given their own topic. If you're particularly interested in the Axolotl, there is a large section of the forum devoted mainly to beginner Axolotl enthusiasts (not this topic).

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Old 11th July 2004   #1
paris
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i decided to continue my posts here rather that in the sale/wanted forum where they will be erased in 3 months. mark s. was commenting about how hard it was to find tigers where he is...

mark-
it may be your difficulty is the difference between eastern and western tigers. ours are very fossoral - living deep underground in rodent burrows or between house foundations (or even in underground service tunnels-lots of them live and breed down there -people who work on these are often called 'waterdogs' because of the larval sals that so often live in these systems -mostly where there is plenty enough water)

it has to be raining really hard or very good for a few days for them to come out when their tunnels get flooded. i was out on the roads last night and saw only 4 live-where as i saw over 40 live western spadefoots -about 20+ dead ones and i picked up one that had been run over and whos back leg (always the one that will kill them if broken) was run over and in pieces -she lived for about 6 hours. it is my experience that front legs arent that big a deal but a broken back leg on a frog is usually fatal.

out where you are pehaps the tigers arent as desperate for moisture and thus dont hide as low underground and thus find the need to escape en-masse when the rains do come. our soil is very dry and there is always lots of runoff -your soil is probably more of a sponge and equal amounts of water my not have as drastic an effect on their homes.
it was raining sideways at one point in time and hailing hard to boot-so at that point you know even the tigers will seek shelter. with all i saw i also saw 5-6 woodhouse toads-these are actually the main frog to find when its raining in the fall-spdefoots have a summer boom window. i saw 4 tigers -one i missed because when i turned around in my car to go look for it (i didnt have a flashlight!) i ran into a person in a ditch and had to help her get out( by flagging down someone with a tow chain). i saw one dead one too. the amazing thing is how much a few miles can effect patterns. the two i got in one known hotspot (it wasnt so hot last night because after the main fury of the storm it pretty much stopped raining) they were the darker form. but about 5 miles away on my drive home i saw a very loud one crossing this highway. if i hadnt stopped and turned around to get it -it would have been run over at the pace it was going. i had to grope around in the dark(no lights on these roads) and was pressed for time since i could hear the other car coming right for where i was (slight hills in the area). im not sure if people know this but tigers do the unken reflex too -similar to the taricha one. this one is a real beauty like my other bold female-but its head is alot flatter -more lizard like -im guessing it was not a cannibal- i will try to get a picture up of them soon.



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Old 12th July 2004   #2
mark
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Thanks for all the info. Definitely a lot of good points. I have been into salamanders for several years, and have found A. laterale and A. maculatum in forests, especially at breeding time, but I have never been successful at finding any species along roads after rains, like you often describe. Maybe in Michigan, they just dont flood the roads after rain as often, as it is a more moist environment in general, and they usually have enough water.

Several books on the subject say that you can find salamanders by the dozens on rural roads after rains, and I never believed that it was that common. Maybe it depends heavily on geographic location too.



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Old 12th July 2004   #3
kaysie
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I've lived rurally all my life in Michigan, and those buggers just do not come out in the rain. Its usually fairly wet to begin with. Maybe in the summer time... Mark, we'll have to get together and scour the woods this summer.



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