State Symbol: State Amphibian— Eastern Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum)

The tiger salamander is the largest of the Illinois salamanders (up to 33cm. in length). It is black and brightly marked with large yellow spots. Occuring throughout Illinois, it is locally common in areas near fishless ponds that are undisturbed by urban and agricultural development.

Adults spend most of their life in burrows or under logs; however, they are most often seen on the ground at night after a rain. Tiger salamanders mate and lay eggs from February to April. Larvae live in fishless ponds and feed on small invertebrates. Adults live on land and feed on insects and other invertebrates.

The voting for favorite state amphibian was done by students and the public via the Internet. Other candidates were the Gray Tree Frog and the American Toad. Legislation was adopted in July, 2005.