Ambystoma mexicanum


-Classified as amphibian, mole salamander
-Usually 150 to 450 mm long
-Has tail, four legs, feathery external gills
-Wild/natural coloring is black and brown
-Can be albino, white, golden, or tan in captivity
-Translucent when very young
(EDGE of Existence, Alderton,


-As a baby, eats algae and aquatic plants
-As an adult, eats worms, aquatic insects, and invertebrates
-Predators are birds, humans, large fish
(EDGE, Aquatic Community (AC), IUCN, Greenard)


-Lives in what is left of Lake Xochimilco, Mexico
-Mainly lives in captivity
-Often kept as pets or for scientific research
-Water temperatures of 20°
(EDGE, Edmonds, AXO)


-Wild coloring (black/brown) camouflages with lake bottom
-Can regenerate almost any body part
-Axolotls are neotenous, which means that they do not metamorphose. They keep the tail and feathery gills suited for aquatic life, yet still reach sexual maturity.
(Multiple Organisms, Scientific American, AXO)
Axolotl salamanders continue to intrigue researchers

Axolotls are endangered!

Axolotls are listed by IUCN and CITES as critically endangered in the wild. However, they are abundant in captivity.
Why they're endangered:
-Habitat loss (There is barely any of Lake Xochimilco left)
-Bad water quality because of pollution
-Alien predators (African tilapia and Asian carp) introduced to the environment

What is being done:
-Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology assisted Mexico government in developing a plan to conserve axolotl and other animals
-Raising awareness of and restoring Lake Xochimilco
-Promoting nature tourism
-Protection from over-harvesting