Black Axolotl

The axolotl is only native to Lake Xochimilco and Lake Chalco in central Mexico. Unfortunately for the axolotl, Lake Chalco no longer exists as it was drained by humans to avoid periodic flooding, and Lake Xochimilco remains a diminished glimpse of its former self, existing mainly as canals. The water temperature in Xochimilco rarely rises above 20 °C (68 °F), though it may fall to 6 or 7 °C (45 °F) in the winter, and perhaps lower. The wild population has been put under heavy pressure by the growth of Mexico City. Axolotls are also sold as food in Mexican markets and were a staple in the Aztec diet. They are currently listed by CITES as an endangered species and by IUCN as critically endangered in the wild, with a decreasing population.


Axolotls are members of the Ambystoma tigrinum (Tiger salamander) complex, along with all other Mexican species of Ambystoma. Their habitat is like that of most neotenic species—a high altitude body of water surrounded by a risky terrestrial environment. These conditions are thought to favor neoteny. However, a terrestrial population of Mexican Tiger Salamanders occupies and breeds in the axolotl's habitat.


The axolotl is carnivorous, consuming small prey such as worms, insects, and small fish in the wild. Axolotls locate food by smell, and will snap at any potential meal, sucking the food into their stomachs with vacuum force.

  • Zeetz Jones 6y

    Interesting creature. I live close to Mexico and yet haven't heard of them before.

    Seen on your photo stream. (?²ˣ)
  • Filipe Ghirardello 6y

    Wow!! That´s so amazing.. to bad "we" exist... thank´s to us they are endangered... :(
  • Giles Watson 6y

    I love axolotls, and used to have them as pets when I was a kid. It's hard to find domestic ones anywhere now. I like this one particularly because it is such a natural colour. Lovely photo.
  • Twitchietai 6y

    That's a stunning creature.
    It's such a shame about the number of amphibians that are now endangered or extinct because of destruction of their habitat.
  • hiromi2007 6y

    great capture !!!
    In japan, we have "oo sansho- uo" (The Japanese giant salamander (Andrias japonicus) similar to axoloti . It is living in the river. It is specified as the natural treasure. But in my childhood, my father had it in our private pond.
  • sanlucarmanolo 6y

    Esta Fotografía es Excelente…!!!
    This Photography is Excellent…!!!
    Pinar de la Algaida
    Te invito a agregarla al grupo:
    Invited to Post Your Wonderful Photo to:

  • sanlucarmanolo 6y

    !!!BEAUTIFUL !!! : SEEN IN:
    !!!PRECIOSA!!! : Vista en:
  • ☺ chetty ♥☺ 6y

    wooow,noch nie gesehen!!
    interresting creature+++
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Taken on April 20, 2009
  • ƒ/2.5
  • 50.0 mm
  • 1/40
  • 320
  • Flash (off, did not fire)
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