Department of Education

Animal Ethics

Animal Ethics

Axolotls


Varietal range difference

The axolotl, or Mexican Walking Fish, is the larval stage of the salamander, a land- dwelling amphibian. The species is available in a variety of colours, including nearly black, albino, golden and pied. Different strains differ in their ability to metamorphose into terrestrial salamanders, with many individuals being unable to do so.

Axolotls are tadpole-like in appearance, with long tails and four legs. They have feathery gills on either side of their head. They are known for their ability to regenerate body parts including gills, limbs and tails.

Physical characteristics

Size 20cm - 30cm in length
Weight up to 300g
Age at adult size axolotls are neotenic: that is, they attain sexual maturity without first metamorphosing from their grilled larval stage to the terrestrial adult stage
Average life span 12-15 years
Weight at birth axolotls lay eggs
Gestation period males release spermatophore into the water, which the females may take into their body (indirect fertilisation). Females then lay the fertilised eggs on plant material. The eggs hatch approximately two weeks after laying and the tadpole-like young then remain attached to the plant material for another two weeks
Number of offspring 300-600 (up to 1000) eggs
Sexual maturity reach sexual maturity from approximately 12 months of age
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Axolotls
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