Great Basin Naturalist


During the spring breeding season throughout the channeled scablands of eastern Washington, metamorphosed male and female blotched tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum melanostictum) utilize oropharyngeal suction to capture large quantities of small aquatic invertebrates. Stomach content analysis on salamanders from three populations of this subspecies revealed that they consume the following taxa: Copepoda, Cladocera, Culicidae, Anostraca, and Chironomidae. Although the amount of energy obtained by adults via in-water feeding was not calculated, the large volume of aquatic invertebrate material flushed from salamander stomachs suggests that this feeding strategy should add significantly to their total annual nutrient consumption.