My two Tiger Salamanders, I believed one to be Ambystoma tigrinum melanostictum or the Blotched Tiger salamander and the other to be Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum or the Eastern Tiger salamander. Both are females, so at some time in the future if I hope to breed, I would have to aquire a male. That is not currently in the plans.
Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum)
Tiger salamanders are a large, robust salamander that is a member of the mole salamander family. Adults average 6 to 8 inches in length, although individuals up to 12 inches have been found. Distrubuted nearly coast to coast in North America, it is the only salamander native to the state of Wyoming. There are currently 6 recognized subspecies found throughout its range. Adults have distinct bars or splotches on a black, brown, or olive green background (although all black individuals also occur), while the larva lack the yellow bars and are a brown, grey or olive color. The larval form which is gilled is sometimes referred to as a waterdog or mudpuppy.
Tiger salamanders require a moist environment in order to prevent desiccation. The adult form is primarily terrestrial and are found in forests, grasslands or marshes. They typically inhabit burrows or reside under leaf litter, but are also good swimmers. During the breeding season (late May to August), they return to shallow water to breed. Eggs adhere to submerged vegetation singly or in clusers up to 20. Larva are aquatic and have gills on their head which appear feathery in the water. Transformation from larva to adult can take anywhere from two months to two years.
Strict carnivores, the adults feeds primarily on insects and worms, although they may also occassionally consume small frogs or baby mice. the larve form feeds on aquatic invertebrates when small, but can become predacious and sometimes even cannibalistic when larger.
Breeding occurs in the water in late May to August, with the male nudging a willing female to initiate mating. Females deposite an egg or egg sack during a mating dance, and the male then deposites a spermatophore. The female picks up the fertilized pack and adheres it to the underside of submerged vegetation.
Tiger salamanders typically carry both the Ambystoma tigrinum and the Regina ranavirus viruses, and both have been implicated in large scale die-offs of these animals. Batrachochytrium dendrobatides infections can also occur, but are typically not lethal. They can also carry salmonella bacteria, so care should be exercised after handling these animals.
Here is a link to a great care sheet write-up that was done for these if anyone is interested;
Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) Care Sheet
And here is a link to a great video series on identifying, buying, keeping, sexing, and building habitats for tiger salamanders for anyone who is interested;
Video: Types of Salamanders | eHow.com