Herpetofauna: One Life's List

Ambystoma platineum
Silvery Salamander

Vermilion Co., Illinois
March 22, 2010

This, the "salamander formerly known as Ambystoma platineum" is now considered a all-female "Ambystoma biotype hybrid" mix of A. laterale, A. jeffersonianum, and A. texanum.  Where these occur in Illinois, they are dependent on sperm packets from male A. texanum, the Smallmouth Salamander.  The platineum females don't play any games or actually use the sperm packets to fertilize their eggs; rather, proximity to the packets stimulates the unfertilized eggs to begin cell division, without any genetic contribution from a male salamander.

Beautifully weird.







Return to Life List Index                    Return to Mike's Page