Axolotl (Ambystoma Mexicanum)

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Axolotl (Ambystoma Mexicanum)
Axolotl (Ambystoma Mexicanum)

Video: Axolotl (Ambystoma Mexicanum)

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Video: Aquarium Setup: Axolotl Tank (Ambystoma mexicanum) - How to set up an Axolotl Tank 2023, January
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The axolotl, or the Mexican axolotl, or the aquatic salamander, is the larval form of the tiger ambistoma, capable of reproducing without becoming an adult form. Violation of metamorphosis is associated with an underdevelopment of the thyroid gland. The word "axolotl" in Spanish means "playing in the water." An ambush predator. Most of the time lies motionless at the bottom. In captivity, it breeds all year round. Almost never occurs in nature

Area

Mexico (mountain lakes Cholco and Xochimailco).

Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), photo photograph of a tailed amphibian
Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), photo photograph of a tailed amphibian

Appearance

Axolotl is the larval form of the tiger ambistoma, capable of reproducing without becoming an adult form. Violation of metamorphosis is associated with an underdevelopment of the thyroid gland. The head of the axolotl is very large and wide, disproportionate to the body, the mouth is wide, the eyes are small. Behind the head are three pairs of external gills that look like long shaggy twigs. Sharp teeth grow on the lower and upper jaws, with which the axolotl captures prey. The skin is smooth. On the sides there are 15-16 vertical grooves, which makes the body appear ringed. The tail is long and wide (70% of the total length), laterally compressed and equipped with a fin fold. On the front legs, four toes, on the hind legs, five. He has about 50 vertebrae. An axolotl can regenerate any lost body parts. Individuals that have completely undergone metamorphosis (natural or artificial),lose the ability to regenerate.

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Questions and answers about the content of askolotls

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Color

The color can be very diverse - albino form (bred in laboratory conditions in the 1950s in the USA), white, black, gray, brown. The axolotl, which lives in nature, is colored black and brown.

The size

Body sizes reach 25-30 cm, body girth 19-12.5 cm.

Weight

An adult axolotl weighs over 300 grams.

Life Expectancy:

In captivity, axolotls live up to 8-14 years.

Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), photo photograph of a tailed amphibian
Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), photo photograph of a tailed amphibian

Habitat

Water bodies with a weak current (water temperature 13-20 ° C). Axolotl can temporarily live in tainted water.

Nutrition / food

Axolotl is a predator that hunts from an ambush. Most of the time, it lies motionless at the bottom, head down, and waits for the prey to swim by. Having caught the movement, the axolotl makes a sharp throw and grabs the prey with its mouth, which it swallows whole. Food is digested for 2-3 days. It hunts insects and small fish. Eats both live and dead food. It is very tenacious, capable of starving for 2-3 weeks.

Behavior

Axolotl leads a calm measured lifestyle. At the same time breathes through gills, lungs and skin. Vision is weak. From time to time, the axolotl presses the gills to the body and shakes them to cleanse organic debris. In an aquarium, it most often lies at the bottom, sometimes "wagging its tail", can hang in the upper layers of water, fingering with its paws. If disturbed, the axolotl slowly swims away.

Reproduction

Mating games and spawning take place in the evening. Fertilization is internal. Males have hypertrophied cloacal lips, females are much thicker than males. The male lays several spermatophores on the ground, which the female picks up. Spawning begins 1-2 days after fertilization. During spawning, the female behaves restlessly, swims up to the growing plants and tries to cling to their leaves with her hind legs. On them, she squeezes out several eggs. Spawning can take two days. The female lays up to 600-1000 eggs. One female axolotl can lay eggs two to three times a year.

Season / period of breeding

In captivity, axolotl breeds year round.

Puberty

Maturation occurs at the age of 10-12 months.

Axolotl female, photo from the site http://www.caudata.org/axolotl/, tailed amphibians
Axolotl female, photo from the site http://www.caudata.org/axolotl/, tailed amphibians

female

Male axolotl, photo from the website http://www.caudata.org/axolotl/, amphibians amphibians
Male axolotl, photo from the website http://www.caudata.org/axolotl/, amphibians amphibians

male

Incubation

Egg incubation lasts 2 weeks.

Development

Newborn larvae up to 1.1 cm long, feed on the yolk sac for the first 5-6 days. At a water temperature of 20 ° C, the larvae grow up to 1.5 cm per week, at the end of the third week, hind limbs begin to develop in young people. At the age of 18 days, the average length reaches 36 mm. At the age of 24 days, the average length is 4 cm (the largest up to 4.7 cm). The hind legs are practically formed. At 43 days, the largest individuals grow up to 7.2 cm, at 59 days - 10.5 cm.The length of adolescent axolotls, reaching 85 days, ranges from 12.5 to 14 cm.

Tips for keeping axolotls
Tips for keeping axolotls

Article on the topic Tips for keeping axolotls

Benefit / harm to humans

Axolotl is widely used for experimental work in biology.

Population / conservation status

The axolotl is listed in CITES as an endangered species. It practically does not occur in nature.

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