Ambystoma californiense breeds from late winter into early spring in large temporary ponds. They are explosive breeders, meaning they emerge, breed quickly, and then return to their burrows. They may breed two or three times a year this way. Juveniles migrate from these ponds to underground burrows in the spring during the rains. They are especially vulnerable to dehydration and heat stress during their overland movement (Petranka 1998, Loredo et al. 1996, Holland et al. 1990). They are rarely seen, due to nocturnal breeding migrations, and living in burrows underground (Loredo et al. 1996). Females attach one egg at a time to twigs, grass stems, vegetation, or detrious. These eggs are covered by a vitelline membrane and three jelly coats. They are distinguished by a pale yellow brown coloring and are about 2 mm in diameter (Petranka 1998). Eggs hatch 2-4 weeks after deposition (Petranka 1998, Barry and Shaffer 1994). Larvae coloring is yellowish gray. They are similiar to adults, except for large dorsal fins extending onto the back, and large feathery gills (Petranka 1998).
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