California Tiger Salamander

Adopt me! Your contribution helps provide my food, toys, and medical care. I’ll stay at the museum, and you’ll get a photo of me and a certificate as reminders of your generosity. Check out our adoption section and see all of our adotion levels.

California Tiger Salamander

Ambystoma californiense


The tiger salamanders were captive born at UC Davis and donated to CuriOdyssey.

Fun Facts

Tiger salamanders are one of the largest terrestrial salamanders in the U.S. – the biggest specimen was 13 inches long! Salamanders are capable of regenerating an amputated limb.
Courtship dances consist of very rapid head-tail circling,
with salamanders touching side-side, noses against each other’s hips.

Birth Date

February 2012

Diet in the Wild

Various invertebrates (earthworms, snails insects), occasionally fish; larvae will eat zooplankton, other larvae, and aquatic invertebrates.  Occasionally cannibalistic.

Diet at the Museum

Crickets and worms


Wild: unknown, at least 5-6 years
Captivity: can live to 12-15 years


Edges of mixed woodland and coniferous forest, grasslands and low foothills with long-lasting spring and summer rain pools for breeding.


In California, throughout the Sacramento and San Joaquin River valleys, in the surrounding foothills, and lower elevations by the central coast

Conservation Status:

Listed by the state government as a threatened species.

Tiger salamanders are threatened by wetland destruction and introduction of non-native animals to their habitats (bullfrogs, mosquito fish, etc.).  Road kills during breeding season migrations are a major problem for local populations. Hybridization with non-native tiger salamanders is also considered a threat to the species.

A local Stanford University population of tiger salamanders is the largest remaining intact population in California and the only one on the peninsula.  The salamanders were thought to have disappeared from the Stanford area during the 1970s but were rediscovered in 1992.