Metamorphosing Tiger &
Blue-Spotted Salamander

recently metamorphosed tiger and blue-spotted salamanders

Two recently metamorphosed Ambystoma salamanders are shown next to one another. Both of these salamanders emigrated from the same pond on the same day. The larger individual is a tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), while the smaller individual is a blue-spotted salamander (Ambystoma laterale).

Metamorphsed Tiger Salamander with Normal Front Limb

Metamorphsed Tiger Salamander with Deformed Tiny Front Limb

Closer views of the recently metamorphosed tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), viewed from two different sides of its body. The right front limb of this animal has developed normally (top photo), but there is a problem with the left front limb (bottom photo). The left front limb may have been eaten by a predator when this salamander was still a larva. This could have been done by a variety of aquatic predators including predaceous diving beetles, giant water bugs and even other salamander larvae. Tiger salamander larvae are capable of regenerating toes and even limbs.

Small numbs can be seen on the side of the salamanders' heads. These are the remains of the external gills found on salamander larvae.

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All text and photographs Michael F. Benard
For information on using this photograph, contact me via email at:
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Some more pages on herps and natural history:
Inside a wasp nest. Snake Image Gallery Spotted Salamander Button
Snake Image Gallery Salamander Image Gallery Water Bug Eating Frog Button
Water bug with limpet snails Snake eats frog Redback Salamander Mother with Eggs