Ambystoma andersoni
Achoque (local Mexican name), Anderson’s salamander
Subgenus: Heterotriton
family: Ambystomatidae

© 2008 Henk Wallays (1 of 14)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Critically Endangered (CR)
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None


View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.


From the IUCN Red List Species Account:


Range Description

This species is known only from one lake (Lago Zacapu) and its surrounding streams, in north-western Michoacan, Mexico, at 2,000 m asl. It has an extent of occurrence and area of occupancy of 19 km

Habitat and Ecology

This species is paedomorphic, and requires a clean, cool aquatic habitat. It is found only in Lago Zacapu and the spring-fed streams and canals associated with the lake. They do not metamorphose in nature, and individuals that have been artificially induced to metamorphose with thyroid hormone in the laboratory do not thrive. Their diet consists largely of snails and crawfish.


The species is uncommon and its population is probably declining.

Population Trend


Major Threats

The major threat to this species is the pollution of the lake due to surrounding agricultural and tourist activities, next to the lagoon and in conjunction with it is a new bathing area. The animals are also heavily harvested for food, and predatory fish have been introduced into the lake, which might well pose a major problem for the species.

Conservation Actions

Red List Status

Critically Endangered (CR)

Taxonomic Notes

Based on both allozymes and mtDNA, this is one of the more differentiated of the Mexican Ambystoma species; morphologically, it has evolved a superficially similar body plan to the distantly related A. dumerilii from Lago Pátzcuaro (H.B. Shaffer pers. comm.).


IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2015. Ambystoma andersoni. In: IUCN 2014


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