Arizona Tiger Salamanders are large and stocky with small beady
eyes, a broad, rounded snout and . Color can vary greatly depending upon the
age of the salamander and location. The Arizona tiger salamander, known from
the Mogollon Rim area and the Colorado Plateau, is a dark grayish to olive
salamander often with yellow to olive spots and blotches that have irregular
edges. However some salamanders are mostly plain olive or yellowish in color. Adult terrestrial tiger salamanders grow to as much as 13.6
inches, total length.
Arizona Tiger Salamanders live in ponds, reservoirs, lakes, temporary rain
pools, streams and stock ponds in conifer forests, chaparral, and
high grasslands. Adults spend much of their time underground in burrows.
Breeding occurs from mid-winter into late spring and rarely in late summer.
The best time to spot an Arizona Tiger
Salamander is at night after rainstorms, when they may be found migrating
to breeding areas.
Larvae salamanders undergo a metamorphosis as they age which
includes four adult forms: a terrestrial adult form, an aquatic gilled
adult (branchiate) and a cannibalistic form of each. The terrestrial adult
lives mainly on land, only returning to water to breed. The gilled adult stays in the breeding pond
and lives an aquatic lifestyle. Occasionally a cannibalistic morph develops.
These salamanders develop larger heads, mouths and teeth and will prey upon
others of their own species. Tiger salamanders also eat a
variety of invertebrates and vertebrates.