Eastern Tiger Salamander Is The State Amphibian of Illinois. Illinois citizens voted to select the eastern tiger salamander as the state amphibian in 2004. Representative Bob Biggins introduced House Bill No. 847 designating the Eastern Tiger Salamander as the official Illinois State Amphibian On February 2, 2005. An election was held on the Internet in 2004; the students and citizens of Illinois chose the eastern tiger salamander over the other two candidates (gray tree frog and American toad).
The State Amphibian of Illinois tiger salamander is the largest salamander species in Illinois, measuring 18-21 cm (7 to 8.25 in.) long, with a maximum recorded length of 33 cm (13 in.) (Conant and Collins 1991). Adult males average 20 cm (8 in.) in length while females measure 18 cm (7 in.) (Bishop 1994). The Illinois State Amphibian male also has a longer tail and longer, stouter hind legs than the female. The body color of State Amphibian of Illinois tiger salamander is dark brown, almost black, and irregularly marked with yellow to olive colored blotches.
The only other salamander with which it might be confused is the smaller spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum). The spotted, however, has two rows of regular, yellow-to-orange spots running parallel down its back, as distinct from the irregularly distributed spots of the tiger salamander. State Amphibian of Illinois Tiger salamanders requires both upland and wetland habitats that contain suitable breeding ponds, forests, and soil types appropriate for burrowing.
Subterranean throughout much of the year, these salamanders reside in underground tunnels and burrows or beneath logs. Loamy sand and sandy loam soil types are preferred for burrowing. The blue spots of the blue-spotted salamander differentiate them from the Illinois State Amphibian eastern tiger salamander. Jefferson’s salamander, the small-mouthed salamander, and unisexual Ambystoma salamanders lack yellow markings. The spotted salamander’s body is blue-black.
Facts About Eastern Tiger Salamander:
1. Fish, toads, and other aquatic animals eat up tiger salamander larvae and thus they produce the poisonous mucus to protect themselves.
2. Before mating male tiger salamanders mimic a female tiger salamander to slink in and drop his germ cells on rival male tiger salamanders.
3. Some of the smaller species of tiger salamanders do not have lungs and they breathe by the gular pumping.
4. Tiger salamanders are one of the endangered species nowadays.
5. Tiger salamanders secrete a slimy substance which is poisonous to other animals.