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5 Stages In The Lifecycle Of An Axolotl

Axolotls are fascinating and adorable creatures that spend their lives in water. They are popularly known as salamander species that do not develop past their larva stage.

You may be wondering what are the stages in the lifecycle of an axolotl are and how long will it take for them to develop fully.

Watching axolotls develop is interesting, but they require good care to fully develop.

Axolotls usually pass through five life cycle stages to develop into an adult. Like amphibians, their life cycle stage starts from eggs and then goes through the larva stages until they become adults.

Let’s dive into the different stages of the axolotl life cycle and how you can identify the stage your axolotl is.

Lifecycle Of An Axolotl

Axolotls usually go through five different life cycles and usually spend their life underwater.

Axolotls lay eggs which will then hatch and become larvae. An unusual thing about axolotl is that they stay in the larval stage all their life.

Some of the stages in the axolotl life cycle are stated below.

Stage 1: Small Eggs

The first stage in the axolotl life cycle starts after the female lays its eggs in the tank.

A female axolotl can lay about 1000 eggs at once. A live axolotl egg is usually around 11-15mm, while a dead axolotl egg is around 2mm.

The rate at which an axolotl egg usually hatches depends on the temperature in its tank.

Therefore, a frequent temperature in their tank can affect the hatching rate of axolotl’s eggs. Axolotl eggs usually hatch in less than 14 days if housed in a tank at 22oC.

However, it may take at least 20 days to hatch if housed in a tank with a cool temperature ranging from 18-20oC.

Check out: Raising Axolotl Eggs: Complete Guide for Beginners

Axolotl eggs

Stage 2: Embryo

This is the second stage of the axolotl life cycle. The eggs in the first stage will hatch into an embryo after some weeks.

The embryo is usually about 2mm in diameter, and is usually covered in jelly for protection.

In this stage, you will notice the form of the axolotl’s body from their head to body but without a leg.

The embryo stage is usually the shortest stage of the axolotl’s lifecycle and can last from a few days to weeks, depending on genetics and other factors.

The embryo is usually 11mm in diameter at the end of this stage.

Here is an article showing the number of babies that an axolotl can have.

Stage 3: Limbless Young Larva

In this stage, axolotl larvae will develop from having no legs to having legs. In the limbless young larva stage, axolotls are usually very thin.

They also have clear skin, and you can see their internal organs. You should avoid touching your axolotls during this stage as it is dangerous for them.

Adult axolotls don’t usually show parental support for their larvae in the wild and in captivity. 

You can only keep on looking at them until they have thicker skin.

After about two weeks, you will notice that their limbs will start to develop, and you will first notice the front legs growing while the rear legs will grow last.

Providing your axolotl with healthy food is important at this stage to help ensure they grow very well.

You will need to feed them easily digestible food with lots of protein. However, you will need to feed them in smaller meals to help ensure they are always full.

Another thing is that young larvae can eat each other if there is no food available for them.

Limbless Young Axolotl Larva
Limbless young axolotl larva

Stage 4: Young Larva Have Limb

In this stage, axolotls will develop a perfect body and be ready to live alone after this stage.

Your axolotl will be about 2 cm long and will start to develop its front limbs. After two weeks, they will start to develop their back legs.

Young adults usually have a slow growth rate at this stage, but with adequate nutrition, they will grow an inch per month.

You will notice that your axolotls will have a reduced feeding time during this period.

They will also have heightened sensitivity and can feed on other food apart from live food. However, you should not change their food from live food.

You can try to introduce them to a new type of food by feeding it to them occasionally.

Note: Axolotls can eat each other if there is no food, and you should try to feed your axolotls very well.

Also read: Baby Axolotl Care: Complete Guide

Young Axolotl larvae has limbs
Young axolotl larvae has limbs

Stage 5: Miniature Adult

This is the last and the longest stage of an axolotl life cycle. It usually starts around 6 months of age and will last for the rest of their life (about 12-15 years).

During this period, axolotls can live independently, spend their lifetime at the tank’s bottom, and adapt to food varieties.

Under optimal conditions, a miniature adult axolotl can grow to about 18 inches or more, and you will need a large tank to house them.

In this stage, you will need to provide adequate food and ensure that the water parameters are ideal for helping ensure your axolotl stays healthy and active.

The females will become sexually mature at this stage, and they will then lay eggs to start the next life cycle.

You can read more on how to care for your axolotls here.

Miniature adult Axolotls
Miniature adult axolotls

How Long Does It Take For Axolotls to Be Fully Grown?

Generally, axolotls can grow to full maturity within six months under optimal care, and they can even develop faster if you provide them with proper conditions.

However, it can take up to a year for your axolotls to get to their final lifecycle stage (miniature adult stage).

A mature axolotl can grow to about 10-16 inches long and live for about 12-15 years. Male axolotls can become sexually mature about 6 months and are ready to breed.

Once you can treat your axolotls correctly and provide them with enough food and ideal water parameters, they can last long.

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Axolotls are unique creatures with a growth stage of an amphibian. Although axolotls go through five stages of the life cycle, they don’t develop past the larval stage.

They spawn as eggs and go through the larva stage until they become adults.

It is quite fascinating watching axolotls grow, but they require good care to help them develop very well.

We hope that this article gives you an insight into the axolotl life cycle. You can message us below if you have any comments or questions about the axolotl life cycle.

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