Sonora Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum stebbinsi)
Where Listed: WHEREVER FOUND
Tiger salamanders are large and stocky, 7.6-16.5 cm (3.0-6.5 in.), with small eyes, broad rounded snout, no parotid glands, and tubercles on the underside of front and hind feet. The dorsum has yellow to dark olive spots and blotches (reticulation), often with irregular edges between front and hind limbs. Aquatic larvae are uniform dark colored with plume-like gills and developed tail fins.
- States/US Territories in which the Sonora Tiger Salamander, Wherever found is known to or is believed to occur: Arizona
- US Counties in which the Sonora Tiger Salamander, Wherever found is known to or is believed to occur: View All
- Countries in which the the Sonora Tiger Salamander, Wherever found is known to occur: Mexico
- Additional species information
|Status||Date Listed||Lead Region||Where Listed|
|1997-01-06||Southwest Region (Region 2)||Wherever found|
» Federal Register Documents
|Date||Title||Plan Action Status||Plan Status|
|2002-09-24||Sonora tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum stebbinsi) Recovery Plan||View Implementation Progress||Final|
|Date||Citation Page||Title||Document Type|
|2003-01-03||68 FR 386 387||Notice of Availability of the Final Sonora Tiger Salamander Recovery Plan||
|2000-06-16||65 FR 37796 37797||Notice of Availability of the Draft Sonora Tiger Salamander Recovery Plan for Review and Comment||
|2006-04-21||71 FR 20714 20716||5-Year Review of 25 Southwestern Species||
|2007-10-04||Sonora Tiger Salamander completed 5-year Review|
» Critical Habitat
No critical habitat rules have been published for the Sonora Tiger Salamander.
» Conservation Plans
No conservation plans have been created for Sonora Tiger Salamander.
» Life History
Currently, most available habitats are cattle tanks that were developed over the last century and replaced the natural pools, cienegas and springs in the San Rafael Valley, rodent burrows, rotted logs, and other moist cover sites that are near water sources. Aquatic habitats are needed from January through June for breeding. Permanent water sites are also suitable, and will maintain populations of branchiate adults. Terrestrial adults are found in the grassland/oak-juniper woodlands and make extensive use of mammal burrows or loose soils to shelter from extreme temperatures.
Young salamanders initially feed on zooplankton and incorporate larger macroinvertebrates as they grow larger. The aquatic adult diet is similar, but adults may also prey on salamander eggs and larvae during the breeding season. Terrestrial adults consume insects and macroinvertebrates
Movement / Home Range
Terrestrial adults move away from their natal ponds. Dispersal distances vary, with the area within 250 meters of the pond often used. Salamanders have been found in ponds 1.5 to 2.0 km from their natal pond, and 3-4 km from the nearest likley natal site. The extent of movements between ponds, or the degree of fidelity to the natal pond are not known. Typically found between 4,000-6,300 feet in elevation. Current populations occur within the headwaters of the Santa Cruz and San Pedro Rivers. These include San Rafael Valley and in the foothills of the east slope of the Patagonia and Huachuca Mountains and Fort Huachuca.
Breeding begins as early as January and eggs can be found in ponds through May. Breeding after the summer monsoon rains is rare. Both terrestrial and branchiate adults will breed. Females lay 200 to 2,000 eggs and these are attached to vegetation, sticks, rocks or the substrate in clumps of up to 50. Eggs hatch in 2-4 weeks, the colder the water, the longer period until hatching. Young salamanders can develop to the minimum size necessary to metamorphose to the terrestrial adult in as little as two months; however, in habitats with permanent water, many may not metamorphose and instead become branchiate adults and remain aquatic.
Loss of the remaining aquatic habitats is a significant threat to salamanders. Cattle tanks may dry during drought, wash out during floods, or be abandoned and not maintained. Watershed conditions that result in erosion (low vegetation density) can cause the berms forming the tanks to erode out, or, if sediments are high in the flood water, fill in the tank and require maintenence. Salamanders are also at risk from fragmentation between aquatic habitats by roads, buildings, or other developments. Transmission of a viral disease specific to tiger salamanders from one pond to another by livestock, vehicles carrying mud or water, or by people is a risk to the local population.
» Other Resources
NatureServe Explorer Species Reports -- NatureServe Explorer is a source for authoritative conservation information on more than 50,000 plants, animals and ecological communtities of the U.S and Canada. NatureServe Explorer provides in-depth information on rare and endangered species, but includes common plants and animals too. NatureServe Explorer is a product of NatureServe in collaboration with the Natural Heritage Network.
ITIS Reports -- ITIS (the Integrated Taxonomic Information System) is a source for authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.
FWS Digital Media Library -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library is a searchable collection of selected images, historical artifacts, audio clips, publications, and video.