What do Axolotls Eat? ( Diet & Care )
You probably already know a little about the unique species if you’re considering keeping an axolotl as a pet. For instance, the axolotls is a native of Lake Xochimilco’s canals and swampy waters in Mexico City. These creatures are carnivorous and will consume any small mammal in their mouths.
Sadly, axolotls in the wild are in danger of extinction, although captive-bred axolotls are becoming more common in the aquarium trade. If you decide to keep one of these animals as a pet, you must ensure that you care for it properly and provide it with the necessary diet to keep it happy and healthy. It’s crucial to remember that, for beneficial results, axolotls grown in captivity should be fed a diet that is nearly identical to that those found in the wild. You’ll learn in this article precisely what axolotls eat in the wild and what you should feed them as pets.
What Foods Consume Axolotls In the Wild?
When the axolotl is hungry, a variety of species are available in the swampy waters of Lake Xochimilco. Crickets, insects, mosquito larvae, slugs, worms, snails, small crustaceans, tadpoles from frogs, small fish, other small salamanders, and even small mammals that frequent the lake are a few of these creatures.
You shouldn’t be concerned if you can’t see your axolotl devouring its food because it doesn’t need to because it can’t chew or rip its prey due to its primitive teeth. Alternatively, your axolotl eats by ingesting water and perry in your mouth.
The food the axolotl consumes must fit in his mouth and be able to be eaten whole because the animal cannot chew it. Additionally, wild axolotls are nocturnal creatures because they hunt primarily at night and hide during the day in the deep swampy waters. So, don’t be alarmed if your pet axolotl behaves the same way in its home tank. An axolotl can access a broad choice of the rich food in the wild. Therefore, one in captivity needs to have the same possibilities to be healthy.
The Features Of Axolotls’ Body Types
Axolotls are significantly different from salamanders in appearance, which are typically dark in color, slender, with short limbs and long tails. That’s because of their slightly chubby body and visible feathery gills! Additionally, their wider mouth, which quickly changes into brilliant smiles, cannot be miss. Among axolotls, there are five primary colors:
- crazy (mix of darker hues) (combination of darker colors)
- leucistic (pinkish color) (pinkish hue)
- albino bright white melanoid
The ones depicted in the media are primarily white and translucent with pink gills. The majority of these axolotls are maintain as pets. Axolotls in the wild, however, have dark brown characteristics. Axolotls are becoming more uncommon and sought-after due to breeding procedures that have produced even more unusual color variants.
The Axolotls range in size from up to 12 inches and weigh an average of 2.11 to 8 ounces. Their physical attributes are also somewhat akin to those of a teacup, which only adds to their charm!
Axolotls’ According to the legend, Xolotl, the Aztec god of fire and lightning, subsequently assum the form of a salamander to avoid being sacrificed. It led to the axolotl. But according to science, axolotls belong to the Ambystomatidae family, closely related to salamanders.
They are distinguished by their feathery gills, which they employ to swim sub aerobically. As a result, people frequently mistake them for fish. They don’t go through metamorphosis like other amphibians of their sort. They also possess the unique capacity to organically regenerate their limbs, organs, tails, and other body parts, which is another distinguishing characteristic. It was claimed that because they are neotenic, which enables them to maintain some attributes from their embryonic periods, they have this exceptional quality.
As a result, axolotls are frequently referred to as never-growing creatures. Unfortunately, because of their unique qualities, they were a popular variety for investigations in the lab that focused on tissue growth.
The Lifespan, Habitat, and Distribution Of Axolotls
Axolotls generally remain in the water. They originally grew across Lake Texcoco’s banks, a natural lake in the Valley of Mexico. The area was important to the Aztecs because it was where they founded the historic city of Tenochtitlan.
Axolotls once thrived and ruled the food chain, but this wasn’t until recent decades. Predatory fish species like tilapia and perch occupied much of their habitat. This eventually caused their population to dwindle. Pollution is a significant contributor to the decline of axolotls. Urbanization harmed their habitat. Because of this, many scientists think these animals may already be extinct in the wild or gone entirely.
These lizard-like species often live between 10 and 15 years in the wild. Axolotls are frequently bred in captivity despite being a species that is thought to be critically endangered. They are surprisingly one of the most popular pet amphibians worldwide.
Feeding Axolotls in Captivity
It’s a little simpler to decide what food axolotls need to be fed in captivity because we already know what they typically eat in the wild. For your pet axolotl, nightcrawlers, sometimes referred to as earthworms, are a delicious and highly nutritious choice. However, you must make sure to buy your nightcrawlers from an organic garden rather than one that might have utilized chemicals.
You can also feed your axolotl a variety of items based on water. These include daphnia, tubifex, brine shrimp, blood worms, blackworms, and even blackworms. On the other hand, water-based meals should be handled with extreme caution because they can readily transmit parasites or diseases from parasites to your axolotl when he eats them.
You can also feed the axolotl freeze-dried food if it’s available where you live. It would help if you decided which alternative is ideal for you and your pet because it has less nutritional value and doesn’t carry parasites or parasite diseases.
How Frequently Should an Axolotl Be Fed?
You wouldn’t believe how little food your axolotl needs. It only needs one or two earthworms every other day to stay full and healthy. Although it’s not advised, adult axolotls can spend up to two weeks without feeding.
However, if you have a baby axolotl, you must feed him daily because he is still growing and developing and needs food and nutrition to mature into an adult. Both provide your axolotl the suitable meals and being careful not to overfeed them is crucial. Overfeeding your pet might cause blockage problems and constipation. Our explanation of what axolotls eat in the wild and as pets end here. To ensure that both of you can enjoy your time together, never overfeed your axolotl and always take the best care of them.
Axolotls Should Not Be Fed
The majority of the time, axolotls ingest anything that sinks into their tank. Consequently, you must take caution when adding food to their container. While they often eat softer, smaller creatures, some things should be out of their reach.
Understanding the dos and don’ts ensures the long-term health of your pet axolotl. The foods that should not be given to these cute species are list below.
1. Processed food
Processed meats and anything with preservatives is first on the list. It should be mentioned that because axolotls consume live things, feeding them anything that has been kept is incompatible with their natural diet. Additionally, processed meats are laden with dangerous chemicals that could affect consumers’ health.
2. Anything With a hard surface
Please ensure you only offer them something with a hard exoskeleton and food containing preservatives. It appears that many wild axolotls feed smaller crustaceans.
It’s best to avoid feeding them hard-shelled crustaceans or shellfish if you keep them as a pet. Due to the lack of sharp teeth on axolotls, these are very challenging to digest. Your pet might develop digestive issues or indigestion if you do this.
Mealworms are not appropriate for axolotls, even though they are typically offer to exotic pets. Most insects and other species’ solid exoskeletons are made of a fibrous substance called chitin, which is what mealworms are made of. Additionally, as was already said, axolotls should not consume anything with a hard texture.
4. Hard Fish Pellets
Pellets are a generic food that axolotls can be fed. But be careful not to give them any foods that could make your pet sick. Consider choosing a protein-rich pellet as well. It is strongly suggested that a pellet have at least 40% protein.
Axolotls are unique creatures that require the utmost caution, especially given the possibility of extinction. Also, remember to feed them according to what they can and cannot eat.