Axolotls are enormous, lovable salamanders endemic to Mexico and are considered protected. Even though snakes or giant lizards are not as prevalent, they are gaining popularity among those who keep exotic pets.
Even though they have both lungs and gills, axolotls spend their whole lives in water, which means that when they are maintained in captivity, they need a tank filled with deep water.
Axolotls are excellent pets for those new to exotic animals and do not have much experience since they are hardy and straightforward to care for.
There are a few considerations to bear in mind when growing an axolotl. This article will assist you in determining whether or not an axolotl is the best pet for your family and lifestyle.
What Is An Axolotl?
With its paedomorphic look and behavior similar to that of the tiger salamander, the Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is an endangered paedomorphic salamander from Mexico.
The researchers first found species in several lakes, including Lake Xochimilco, underneath the Mexican capital. Axolotls are unique among amphibians in that they can reach maturity without passing through any stages of development.
In contrast to most other species of frogs, axolotls do not go through the process of metamorphosis in order to reach maturity.
Axolotls, which are sometimes misidentified as fish, are unusual within the amphibian family in that they spend their whole lives submerged in water.
Indeed, because of their appearance and the environment in which they live, axolotls are frequently referred to as “Mexican walking fish.”
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Habitat And Ecology
The Axolotl is found in Lake Xochimilco’s freshwater, and Lake Chalco’s Valley of Mexico is considered a native species.
Lake Chalco is no longer in existence, having been drained as a flood control measure. At the same time, Lake Xochimilco is just a shadow of its former self, mainly consisting of canals connecting to other water bodies.
The water temperature at Xochimilco seldom climbs beyond 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), while it may drop to 6–7 degrees Celsius (43–45 degrees Fahrenheit) in the winter and much lower in the summer.
Axolotls are members of the tiger salamander, or Ambystoma tigrinum, species complex, including all other Mexican Ambystoma speciesls, are also members of the tiger salamander, or Ambystoma tigrinum, species complex.
Their habitat is similar to most neotenic species: a high-altitude body of water surrounded by a potentially hazardous terrestrial ecosystem. These circumstances are regarded to be favorable for neoteny.
A terrestrial population of Mexican tiger salamanders, on the other hand, lives and breeds in the Axolotl’s natural environment. In the wild, the Axolotl is a predatory creature that feeds on tiny prey such as mollusks, worms, insects, and other arthropods, as well as fish.
Animals that hunt for food by scent will “snap” at any possible meal, drawing it into their stomachs with the power of vacuum force. A vast number of axolotls are raised in captivity and utilized in research today as model organisms.
Breeding these salamanders is easier than for other salamanders in its family, which are seldom kept in captivity because of their terrestrial lifestyle.
Axolotl Colors: Different Types of Axolotl Morphs
Axolotls are salamander species found only in a tiny region near Mexico City. This species is famous as a pet since it is attractive and straightforward to care for. Axolotls are undeniably adorable. These little aquatic frogs with lovely gills are the most gorgeous exotic pets ever.
Dark greyish-green with black and olive mottling in the wild, the Axolotl has gold speckles and a light belly. The wild type is colored and patterned like wild axolotls, thus the name.
Albino axolotls look like leucistic axolotls. These axolotls are transparent white with gold sparkles. Pink or red gills and dark eyes Predators easily recognize axolotls, making them scarce in the wild.
White albino axolotls have red gill filaments and pink or white eyes. The gill stalks of these axolotls are gold. White albinos resemble leucistic axolotls but lack color in their eyes. They have weak eyesight and are very light-sensitive.
Young golden albino axolotls resemble white albinos and are sensitive to intense light. Golden albinos mature to peach, yellow, and orange-gold. Their bodies are covered with reflective patches and speckles.
They are commonly confused with the wild-colored axolotls, although they are distinct. Their skin is darker than the wild species, giving them a dark brown or black tint. They have black gills and eyes,
Axanthic axolotls appear in dark, light, mosaic, and melanoid variants. They lack xanthophores (yellow pigment), giving them a chilly appearance. They have patches on their bodies unless melanoid.
These axolotls are rust-colored albinos. Eye rings might be clear pupils. A flashlight shined into the eyes of a copper axolotl confirms this. A copper albino has red pupils.
Green Axolotl Morph:
GFP axolotls are axolotls that glow in the dark. These unusual axolotls are primarily made in a lab. The animal’s luminous green hue flashes brightly under UV or black light.
Before hatching, two eggs change into an axolotl. Chimera axolotls are half-leucistic. These unusual axolotls seem to be split along the center.
A mosaic axolotl’s body mixes wild type and leucistic morph hues. The mosaic morph occurs when two cell DNAs merge.
Morphing Dalmatian Axolotl:
This purple and silver axolotl hybrid is unusual. It has distinctive dots all over its body, like a Dalmation dog.
The enigma axolotl is unique! A fantastic color combination of black with greenish hue patterns all around.
The firefly axolotl was also made via embryonic graphing. This kind has a black body and a paler tail. Some even have black bodies with glowing seats.
How Does Regeneration Work? How Do Axolotls Reproduce?
We’ve been aware of the fundamental regeneration mechanism in axolotls for quite some time. Following the amputation of a leg, for example, blood cells coagulate at the location of the injury, and skin cells begin to increase and cover the exposed wound.
The blastema is formed when cells from surrounding areas come to the site and aggregate in a blob known as the blastema. A young axolotl may regrow a limb in the wild in 40-50 days; however, terrestrial species need considerably longer.
Axolotls reach sexual maturity at roughly 18 months while still in their aquatic larval stage of development.
Following the male Axolotl’s wooing dance, the female Axolotl accepts the sperm capsule the male placed. Eggs are placed one at a time, generally on plants, and hatch after a few days.
The male nudges her hindquarters with his snout to express his interest in the female Axolotl. Axolotls are noted for their ability to reproduce.
As he advances, he places what is known as a “spermatophore.” He will then guide the female Axolotl forward so that her cloaca is immediately over the deposited spermatophore. She then takes the spermatophore up into her cloaca, which remains for many hours.
What Do Axolotls Eat?
Soft pellets are ideal for fish and reptiles. Avoid any food that has been hardened. It includes most of the fish pellets in your aquarium. Axolotls are unable to chew their food and will take bullets whole. When hard shells are consumed, they absorb water in the intestines, causing digestive problems.
Axolotls eat microscopic insects such as worms, fish, larvae, and mollusks in their native environment. For axolotls kept in captivity, you should give them a variety of nightcrawlers and blackworms as well as daphnia and raw meat.
One teaspoon of bloodworms, or two to three nightcrawlers, is plenty for an adult to consume daily. There is no need to consume shrimp or beef daily, but they may be served as a special treat once a week. Every day, young and developing axolotls will destroy four tiny worms.
As they get older, their appetites will wane. Your Axolotl may seem to be the prettiest and sweetest animal in the world, but it is still a carnivore.
It implies that its food must be mainly composed of meat. Earthworms are widely recognized as the perfect diet for Axolotls. There are several different food sources suitable for Axolotls.
Where Do Axolotls Live?
The lake underneath Mexico City, Lake Xochimilco, is where the species was first discovered. Not all axolotls look like tiger salamander larvae, found in many North America and sometimes paedomorphic.
They live in a high-altitude body of water because they are neotenic. Axolotls are the only salamanders that do this; other salamanders have a considerably broader range.
The Axolotl is in danger of extinction in Mexico City’s canals, where it has existed for millions of years. There may be just a few hundred individuals surviving in the wild, but tens of thousands may be found in aquariums and research institutions across the globe.
Why Are Axolotls Going Extinct?
Human development, wastewater disposal, and habitat loss due to droughts are the primary reasons for Axolotl extinction. Even though these species are common in the aquarium trade, they are highly endangered in their natural habitat.
Axolotls are thought to exist in numbers of 700 and 1,200 individuals in the wild. The comfort dangerous to axolotls is habitat loss and deterioration of what little habitat is left on the planet.
Much of the aquatic life has been decimated by pollution that has leaked from the land. Exotic species such as tilapia and perch compete with native species such as axolotls and other aquatic critters.
The Axolotl is relatively easy to breed for reproduction, but the real issue comes when the creatures are returned to their degraded natural environment.
The blue Axolotl is the rarest color, having a 0.083 percent probability of spawning naturally or by cross-breeding with other colors. If you want a blue axolotl, you’ll need to be patient and lucky.
Fun Facts About Axolotls
Axolotl facts include extraordinary mating rituals and incredible healing abilities.
- Exotic axolotls reach sexual maturity without losing any of their larval traits. Unlike many amphibians, axolotls retain their feathery exterior gills and stay aquatic. Their teeth never form. Therefore, they must eat via suction.
- These aquatic amphibians can only be found in the wild: Lake Xochimilco in southern Mexico City. Their old home, Lake Chalco, was emptied to prevent floods. The degradation of habitat and the invasion of predatory carp and tilapia have reduced Xochimilco to a network of canals.
- Axolotls are carnivores that devour fish, worms, insects, and crustaceans. They aren’t choosy and will consume dead or living meat. Axolotls may be cannibalistic, chewing off a limb of a neighboring family member.
- Fortunately, the damaged Axolotl can regrow the lost body component.
- Genes determine axolotls’ color pigmentation. They are usually dark or black with gold or olive flecks in the wild. Like other salamanders, they may change their color to blend in better.
How Long Do Axolotls Live: The Life Span
The Axolotl is a paedomorphic creature (that is, it retains its larval traits throughout adulthood). It is believed that Axolotl feeds on a range of aquatic animals, including fish, mollusks, aquatic insects, and even other Axolotls.
Although axolotls may live for up to 15 years in captivity, they only survive for approximately five or six years in the wild. Typically, axolotls in captivity live between 10 and 15 years; however, they may live up to 20 years if well cared for.
The age of the oldest Axolotl is unknown; however, as they grow increasingly popular as pets, their age may surprise you since certain salamander species have very lengthy lifespans.
Axolotls are still a common and popular pet. Still, wild axolotls are severely endangered, with just an estimated 1000 individuals or less living in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The bottom line is that you must adhere to all of the recommendations I have provided today to provide your Axolotl with the best possible opportunity to live to its full potential.
These are delicate and frail organisms that demand a tremendous deal of attention. Having an axolotl in an aquarium is one of the most exciting things you can do with your aquarium.
The Mexican walking fish, a little fish-salamander hybrid with a long lifetime, is one of the fascinating creatures on the planet.
Axolotls are long-lived amphibians distinguished from other amphibians because they continue to live in water even after reaching maturity. Another intriguing feature about axolotls is that they can survive for far more extended periods in captivity than in the wild.
Frequently Asked Questions
#1 – What Do We Lose If We Lose Wild Axolotls?
It is becoming more difficult for axolotls and other salamanders to survive or go extinct across the globe due to causes like pesticides, predators, and habitat degradation. Their native habitat has been obliterated, except for what is left now: canals.
#2 – Are axolotls good pets?
Axolotls are salamanders that are big and cute. They live in Mexico. People who own exotic pets are becoming more interested in snakes and giant lizards, even though they aren’t as common as snakes or lizards. Axolotls are great pets for people who don’t know much about exotic animals.
#3 – How big do axolotls get?
In the past, an axolotl could grow up to 18 inches long. These days, they only grow to about 9 inches long, though.
People who have axolotls are dark-colored and have greenish mottling on their skin. Some have silvery highlights on their skin, but this is rare.
Most axolotls are about 10 inches long from the tip of their nose to the end of their tail. There are a few people who can reach 12 inches. This is very rare.
#4 – Can you put two axolotls together?
Axolotls are not a friendly species and hence do not need a companion to keep them occupied. As long as the axolotls are about the same size, it is acceptable to keep them together.
Because they aren’t getting enough food, they may try to eat each other’s limbs to get more food.
#5 – What makes Axolotl sick?
Your axolotls may not be killed right away if your tank is too warm, for example, if the chlorine level is too low or if ammonia builds up to dangerous levels. But opportunistic bacteria may take hold and grow.
#6 – Is owning an axolotl illegal?
California, Maine, New Jersey, and Virginia do not allow people to own axolotls. In New Mexico, you can hold them, but you can’t bring them in from other states. Check your local exotic animal laws to see if you can keep one.
#7 – Are Blue Axolotls real?
The Blue Axolotl is not a good name for this salamander because they aren’t blue, so it doesn’t make sense. Dark grey or black, they aren’t blue at all.
In some lights, they might look like they are. They are called Black Melanoids most of the time.
#8 – What is the most uncommon axolotl hue in the wild?
Axolotls of the indigo color are incredibly rare to come by. These fish, which have a meager spawning rate of just 0.083 percent, are distinguished by their indigo or deep blue bodies, which are accented with purple on their belly and fins.
#9 – What type of axolotls glow?
People who look like they’re glowing in the dark are called GFP axolotls. These rare and unusual axolotls are primarily made in a lab. An animal’s bright green hue comes to life under UV or black light.
#10 – Do Axolotls turn black?
You can’t forecast precisely when they’ll turn black since it happens at varying speeds for each hue. The Axolotl Factory ships them jet black; however, it depends on your configuration.