The courtship behavior of A. mexicanum follows the general Ambystoma pattern; it first involes each animal nudging the other's cloacal region, eventually leading to a "waltz," with both animals moving in a circle. Next, the male moves away while undulating the posterior part of his body and tail (resembling a "hula dance"), and the female follows. The male will deposit a spermatophore (a cone-shaped jelly mass with a sperm cap) by vigorously shaking his tail for about half a minute, and will then move forward one body length. The female then moves over the spermatophore, also shaking her tail, and picks up the spermatophore with her cloaca. (Eisthen, 1989)
Mating System: Polygynandrous (promiscuous)
Axolotls breed in the wild generally from March to June. From 100 to 300 eggs are deposited in the water and attached to substrates. Eggs hatch at 10 to 14 days and the young are immediately independent. Sexual maturity is reached in the next breeding season. (Eisthen, 1989)
Key Reproductive Features: Iteroparous; Seasonal breeding; Gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); Sexual; Fertilization; Fertilization :: Internal; Oviparous
Axolotls in the wild breed once yearly.
Breeding laboratory axolotls can be accomplished at almost any time; in the wild, it is thought that the best time for spawning is March to June.
Eggs are surrounded by a protective jelly coat and are laid singly, unlike frog eggs (which are laid in clumped masses), because they possess higher oxygen requirements. They are often attached to substrates such as rocks or floating vegetation.
Parental Investment: No parental involvement; Pre-hatching/birth; Pre-hatching/birth :: Provisioning; Pre-hatching/birth :: Provisioning :: Female
- Eisthen, H. 1989. Courtship and mating behavior in the axolotl. Axolotl Newsletter, 18: 18-19.