Courtship consists of groups of males bumping and nudging the females and each other. Males will move away from the group and deposit spermatophores on the substrate or on a stick or leaf. Females then "collect" the spermatophores (Harding 1997).
Mating System: polygynandrous (promiscuous)
Ambystoma texanum breeds very early in the year. The migration to breeding ponds seems to be stimulated by just a few days of rain in late winter, frequently while ice still covers portions of the ponds. They tend to stay closer to breeding ponds in summer and late winter than other salamander species. A sibling species, A. barbouri, has a different reproductive strategy. The two species were formerly considered two races of A. texanum but now are classified as different species. Ambystoma barbouri, the "stream form," breeds in ephemeral headwater regions in contrast to A. texanum, the "pond form," which breeds in ephemeral lenthic habitats, including road side ditches, flooded areas and small ponds (Maureer and Sih 1996). Breeding begins four to five weeks later for A. texanum, which is an explosive breeder (Petranka 1984). A single female can produce 300 to 700 eggs annually, which are deposited in small loose gelatinous masses of 3 to 30 eggs. The eggs hatch in 3 to 8 weeks. The young mature to breeding size usually in their second year (Harding 1997). Size at maturity is 60 to 70 mm length from their snout to their vent (Lanoo, 2006).
Breeding interval: Small-mouthed salamanders breed once each year.
Breeding season: Small-mouthed salamders breed in early spring.
Range number of offspring: 300 to 700.
Range time to hatching: 3 to 8 weeks.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 2 years.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 2 years.
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); oviparous
Once a female deposits her eggs in the water, there is no further parental care.
Parental Investment: no parental involvement; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female)