What the heck is an axolotl? It looks like something ancient or from another planet, with its big eyes, frilly gills, and seemingly smiling face. In fact, axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) are native to Mexico and are a type of salamander, which have been around for more than 100 million years.
Unlike salamanders, however, axolotls do not undergo metamorphosis. This means they do not develop lungs, but retain their gills and are aquatic for their whole lives. One scientist described them as “sexually mature tadpoles,” because even as adults they retain juvenile (or larval) characteristics.
Axolotls make great pets for freshwater aquarium keepers because they are easy to maintain. Minecraft fans have made them popular virtual pets and that has extended to real life.
On average, axolotls live about six years, but have been known to survive in captivity for up to 17 years. They grow to an average of about 9 inches, but some get as large as a foot. They are almost magical in their ability to regrow body parts, including tails, feet, and legs. This and many other axolotl traits have fascinated researchers for decades.
Axolotls are carnivorous and, generally speaking, are not very social; they do best in dedicated aquariums. It is possible to keep them in a community tank if you choose their companions wisely. They prefer cool temperatures (between 60-70°F) and very slow moving water. Currents and direct sunlight can stress your pet. Our expert staff can advise you on everything you need to know to keep amazing axolotls.
In the wild, axolotls are critically endangered. They are found in only two lakes close to Mexico City. Pet axolotls are easily bred in captivity, and all our axolotls are bred as pets. Humans have selectively bred pet axolotls into 10 different morphs (or colors). Stop by the store to see what we have available.