Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Caudata
Family: Ambystomatidae

Genus/species: Ambystoma andersoni

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: A. andersoni is dark, mottled brownish-green in color. the body is long and cylindrical with short legs. Note the well-developed “costal” grooves Although it does develop lungs,  A. andersoni retains its branch-like gills. These are three external projections from the neck covered with feathery filaments  increase the surface area for gas exchange.

Length up to 30 cm (14 inches)

Anderson's Salamander29682163253_8ab1906ee7_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Lake Zacapu, Central Mexico. Prefers deep vegetated portions of streams.

DIET IN THE WILD: Aquatic invertebrates

REPRODUCTION: A. andersoni is polygynandrous (promiscuous). Eggs hatch at 10 to 14 days and the young are immediately independent. It is an example of neoteny in that animals become sexually mature without undergoing the final metamorphosis to the land-borne adult.

Longevity up to 17 years.

CONSERVATION: IUCN RED LIST Critically Endangered 2014
The major threat to this species is the pollution of the lake due to surrounding agricultural and tourist activities, next to the lagoon and in conjunction with it is a new bathing area. The animals are also heavily harvested for food, and predatory fish have been introduced into the lake, which might well pose a major problem for the species.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium 2016

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