Axolotl

What is an axolotl?

Also known as the Mexican walking fish, the axolotl is a neotenic salamander related to the tiger salamander. Axolotls are not fish, they are amphibians that never outgrow the aquatic phase. It forever keeps its dorsal fin and it’s gills stick out from behind it’s head looking like antlers or coral horns.

What do axolotls eat?

Axolotls are carnivorous. They will eat just about anything that’s alive and can fit in their mouths. Worms, smaller fish, even their siblings when they are young.

How long do axolotls live?

Axolotl can live 10-12 years, even 15 years if taken care of properly. Because axolotl live so long, it is a very big decision to get an axolotl for a pet. How long are you willing to be a good axolotl caretaker?

Why are axolotls endangered?

Axolotls only ever existed in the wild in two lakes near Mexico City. Axolotls are critically endangered due to expansion of the city, introduction of predatory fish, water pollution, and general loss of habitat. Learn more at National Geographic axolotl facts.

Lifespan

Axolotls come out of their mothers as eggs. Mom typically lays 150-450 eggs (called a clutch) over the course of two days, and affixes them individually around the tank on plants, rocks, and decorations. During the first two weeks the embryos will start to grow limbs and then will hatch.

Juvenile axolotl life is their main growth period. After hatching, axolotls typically grow about an inch per month. Growth slows at about six months old, and when they are around twelve months old they will be pretty much done growing.

The average size of an adult axolotl is 9-12 inches long. That is how long axolotl live!

Regeneration!

An axolotl can regrow lost or damaged tissue, even a limb or even more surprisingly; axolotls can regenerate whole organs, parts of the central nervous system, and parts of the brain! For this reason, axolotls have been mightily researched. In fact, the axolotl genome is the largest mapped genome so far. With a 32 billion base pair long sequence, the axolotl genome is ten times as large as a human genome.

This being known, we beg of you to refrain from injuring your axolotl. Please!!!

Axolotl Morphs

Morph is a term used to refer to the color variations that an axolotl can have. There are some popular morphs with common names, but color variations are not confined to these breeds. Most axolotl morphs are naturally occurring, some are the result of selective breeding, and one which gained its glow from jellyfish.

An axolotl morph is different from another axolotl morph because of pigmentation cells, which are called chromatophores. There are three varieties of the cells; melanophores create darker colors like black and brown, xanthophores create yellow and reddish colors, and iridophores create shiny and iridescent colors.

Buying an Axolotl

Before you buy an axolotl, first ask yourself ( and be honest with yourself ) am I ready and able to take care of an axolotl? Make sure you understand what it takes, and make sure you’re prepared to give that needed care.

Is keeping an axoltl as a pet legal in your area? It is legal to have a pet axolotl in most place. Some areas in Canada have laws which forbid it completely or require a permit.

Preparation before getting axolotl; setup the tank, and cycle the tank to get the correct axolotl tank parameters.

Price

Axolotl price can vary but 50-100 usd is a good amount to pay. You want to support the breeder you buy from so they can take great care of their axolotls. You can find prices ranging from 35-70 and even more for rare breeds. The real axolotl price comes in the form of peripherals; tank, filter, food, water parameter test kit, etc. The price of your axolotl purchase is but a piece of the pie.

You can get axolotls for free, and do them a big favor, buy ‘rescuing’ an axolotl. An axolotl rescue is a term which in this case means giving a home to an axolotl that a human bought and perhaps even kept but for whatever reason the decided not to keep anymore. Perhaps they no longer have the time or became too busy. Whatever the reason, you can find axolotls to rescue. They may be full grown or even far along in their life span, but you’ll get a great price and be able to bless an axolotl that needs a home.

If you are a breeder with axolotls for sale, or if you have an axolotl that needs to be rescued, you can post for free in the Axolotling.com axolotl listings.