How Long Do Axolotls Live

The lifespan of an Axolotls can vary in the wild as opposed to in captivity. Here’s a quick overview of how long they are on average and six ways to extend their lifespan for your fish tank.

Axolotls are salamanders who spend all their lives in water. The beautiful animals begin with eggs; they mature around one year old. They’re almost gone from their habitat close to Mexico City, with numbers declining. But they’re becoming more sought-after than ever before as exotic pets, and many are kept in captivity, compared to on the open wild. We’ll go over the axolotl life span, stages, and how they compare with other salamanders!

Axolotls generally live for 10-15 years in captivity. However, they can last for more than 20 years if they’re properly cared for. The oldest axolotl in the world isn’t known. However, their age may surprise when they become frequent pets since some salamander species have extremely long life spans (more about that in the next paragraph!)

See Also: How Long Can Fish Live Out of Water

Although the axolotl is one of the salamanders that live relatively short lives because of its tiny size, they last longer than most people are aware of when they adopt their pets! A large part of their strength comes from their ability to regenerate body parts like organs, limbs and even limbs!

Axolotls are among the most beautiful creatures you could keep in your aquarium. These tiny fish-salamander hybrids called”the Mexican Walking Fish can boast a remarkable life span.

What is the average length Axolotls survive? This is dependent on the situation, whether they’re being kept in captivity or not. In the wild, they’ll typically live between 5 and 10 years, whereas, in captivity, they’ll generally live between 10 and 15 years, with a 12- year average lifespan.

Axolotls: The Adorable, Giant Salamanders of Mexico

When the Aztecs arrived in their settlement in the Valley of Mexico in the 13th century, they discovered an enormous salamander in the lake around the island. They constructed their capital city, Tenochtitlan. They named Salamander “axolotl” after Xolotl, their god of lightning and fire. Xolotl was believed to have changed form into a salamander, in addition to other forms, to prevent being sacrificed to ensure that the moon and the sun could be moved in the sky. The salamander was eventually caught and killed.

Like the way, axolotls were frequently killed to feed the Aztecs and still eaten in Mexico. They’ve also become among the most sought-after pets globally because of their simple to care for and their charisma. Their remarkable ability to regenerate makes them a fascinating research subject for researchers. However, in their natural habitat, salamanders are almost gone extinct.

Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) are amphibians belonging to the one living genus in the family Ambystomatidae. The genus has more than 30 salamanders belonging to the Ambystoma family, commonly referred to as mole salamanders.

Differences From Other Salamanders

They are only found in the complex of lakes in Xochimilco (pronounced SO-chee MILL-Koh), close to Mexico City; axolotls differ from the other salamanders due to their ability live forever in the water. In rare instances, an axolotl can grow to maturity before emerging from the water; however, most of the time, they prefer to live on the bottom of Xochimilco’s lake and canals.

Similar to the salamander tiger, Axolotls are very large, reaching as high as 1 foot in length, but the average size is about half of that. They’re typically dark brown or black; however, albino and white varieties are popular, especially among the captive species.

How Long Do Axolotls Live In The Wild?

Axolotls are peaceful animals who stay clear of contact and confrontation with other animals when they can. But, axolotls are not very fast swimmers. They’re not extremely mobile, do not have claws or teeth, and don’t have a real means of protecting themselves.

Age, with even five years being a huge achievement for an axolotl in the wild. In simple terms, for any predators, it is a very easy meal to capture. So, it’s not common to see an axolotl more than ten years old in natural environments.

The mating dance of the axolotl

Axolotl reproduction begins with dancing, literally. After males and females push and rub each other’s urinary opening, also known as the Cloaca, salamanders dance in a kind of waltz as per the Michigan University’s Animal Diversity web. The male then dances off while shimmying his tail in the manner of the hula dancer and entices females to follow. When the dance partners dance together, they drop the small white capsule of sperm, a Spermatophore, with the female following the male advances until the female slithers over the spermatophore before picking it up using her Cloaca.

Axolotls undergo this courtship every year, usually from March through June. As the courtship dances in front of her, the female axolotl will individually put her jelly-coated eggs on rocks or aquatic plants, ranging from 100 to 300. Within 10 to 14 days after that, the eggs are born, and the babies are left to fend for themselves. It can take about an entire year for axolotls to develop sexual maturity.

How Long Do Domestic Axolotls Live?

When it is kept in captivity in a fish tank in your home, an axolotl with good care can last between 10 and 15 years old; approximately 12 years old is the mean. It is crucial to note that only well looked after axolotls will make it this far.

They’re extremely delicate and fragile and fragile, which means it’s not that much to end their lives. If well taken care of, they’ve been reported to live up to 20 years.

Axolotl Lifespan Captivity in comparison to. In the Wild

Axolotls generally live for 10 to 15 years in captivity and 5-10 years in the wild. What causes this vast disparity in lifespan?

They face various threats in their natural habitats, including predators, illnesses, or habitat degradation.

However, life as a pet in captivity isn’t always easy. Like many exotic pets, Axolotls often receive poor treatment.

Parents might purchase one for their children, thinking that water animals are easy pets to take care of. They are also an impulse purchase, just as the majority of people buy pets.

If properly cared for, an axolotl could live for up to 20 years, so adopting one is a major decision that shouldn’t be made lightly!

What is the average lifespan of the axolotls?

Axolotls are among the amphibians that live longest, with an average lifespan of 10-15 an hour in their habitats. In captivity, though, their life span could extend to 15 years for pets since most of the threats to their natural habitat are removed when they are kept in aquariums. They mainly rely on a diet of insects, worms, molluscs larvae, tiny fish and crustaceans. Axolotls are considered the top predator within their habitats.

These amphibians generally consume readily available food, like salmon pellets, frozen bloodworms, trout waxworms, and earthworms in captivity.

How Many Axolotls Are Left In The World?

The current estimate at this time is between 1400 to 1600 axolotls on the open plains. There are thousands more available in pet stores and aquariums at home.

The exact number is not known. However, rough estimates place the entire Axolotls’ population in the world wild and domestic around 10,000.

Population Decline

Larvae, crustaceans and certain fish. Axolotls are long-lived and can last for 15 to 20 years, eating insects, molluscs, and worms. They are accustomed to being the dominant predator in their natural habitat; however, the species is beginning to be affected by an increase in large-sized fish in their lake habitat. The natural threats are predatory birds like herons.

Populations are decreasing due to the pressures of Mexico City have led to the depletion and contamination of large portions of the water in the Xochimilco Lake complex. They are also popular in the aquarium trade, and roasted axolotl has been regarded as an exquisite food in Mexico and is further decreasing their number. They are classified as endangered species.

Axolotl Development and Lifecycle

Axolotls reside in the water throughout their lives and even reproduce underwater. The breeding season runs between December and June, and females can lay as many as 1000 eggs within a single season!

After hatching, axolotls stay in a jelly-like liquid. They expand their head and body before they enter the larval stage.

Axolotls born in the early stages are transparent and do not have legs until about two weeks into their larval stage. They are during this period until they reach six months old, at which point they are sexually mature and can reproduce.

Axolotls are considered to be fully grown when they reach the age of one year.

Are Axolotls Endangered?

Indeed it is true that there is a reason why axolotls are threatened, but they are, in fact, extremely threatened. In the present, it is estimated that there are many more axolotls in captivity than wild.

They are in danger because there’s only one lake in which they can naturally breed, Lake Xochimilco.

Additionally, other factors, including pollution, environmental degradation, and human activity, have led to a sharp decrease within axolotl populations.

12 Ways To Ensure Your Pet Axolotls Lives A Long Life

Axolotls are delicate and fragile animals, But there are ways to help ensure your axolotls will live long and live healthy lives.

Let’s review the most important points to follow in this regard.

Ideal Water Parameters

The most vital factor that will keep your axolotl in good health for as long as possible is how the water temperature is. Also, axolotls require the water to be at a particular temperature between 60 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit. This is very cool.

You may need cooling equipment for your aquarium. You will require an aquarium thermometer to gauge the temperature.

Be aware that being a little less cool is okay while warmer water isn’t. If you do not meet the temperature standards for these tiny creatures, they’ll not last any time at all.

In addition, the levels of GH and pH are equally crucial to be aware of. In terms of acidity, the pH for axolotl water ranges between 6.5 to 8.0, The optimal being around 7.2. Regarding their water’s hardness, they need moderate hardness, ranging from 7 to 14 dGH.

The use of Axolotls in the field of modern medicine

The thing that is unique in these animals is that they possess a distinct immunity to cancer compared to mammals. Due to their special ability to regenerate body parts and body parts, ongoing research determines the therapeutic effects of the genes that come from these animals. It is expected that gene extracts could be used to eliminate complications that can occur during transplants and improve the healing process and healing for burn patients.

A Clean Tank

Another important thing to take care of is to ensure that the water in the tank is as pure as it can be humanly possible. Axolotls are extremely sensitive to dirty water, especially ammonia and nitrates.

The dirty water in general is not good for the axolotls because it may cause stress to their bodies and cause organs to stop functioning, and even low levels of ammonia could cause the death of an axolotl.

Food that is not properly cleaned, untreated waste, decaying plants, and other similar factors can cause problems with water quality that can cut down axolotl life spans and cause death.

If you don’t wash your tank regularly, you aren’t able to clean it properly, and if your filter isn’t functioning to its maximum capacity, the water quality is likely to drop. So, what you have to do first is to make sure you are doing every week, you do water changes that are around 30 to 30 per cent.

This will assist in removing the majority of pollutants from your water. It is also recommended to clean the tank from bottom to top at least every other week. Also, a high-efficiency filter that can engage in all three major kinds of filtration like biological, mechanical, and chemical filtration.

Breeding occurs at the beginning of the year.

Axolotls are mature within six months. The breeding season begins at the beginning of the year, begins in March, and continues until June. The wild breeding occurs only once per calendar year. In captive animals, breeding could be repeated up to twice during the year. It is common to see spawning in winter as the temperatures of water are mild and warm.

The Right Food

Another thing that can help to ensure a long and healthy existence for your axolotl is proper nutrition. A top-quality diet that can meet or exceed their nutritional needs is vital.

Axolotls generally have a high requirement for protein and are meat-eaters at heart. This means you need to give them plenty of insects and larvae like fish fry Daphnia, worms and many other things like that.

It is also possible to feed them cooked lean chicken or lean beef as well in cooked shrimp as well. It’s been demonstrated that axolotls fed only nightcrawlers (earthworms) are healthy and perfectly balanced.

Axolotls can like some live food because it keeps them in touch with their instinct to hunt. However, live food and frozen food are often contaminated with parasites that could cause death to Axolotls.

To prevent this from happening, feed them dry foods that can be frozen. The Axolotls are extremely vulnerable to parasites and diseases, So keeping them in check is crucial.

Axolotls are fed by suction.

Axolotls don’t consume their food. They feed through suction. This is accomplished by interlocking opening and shutting the gill after the food is placed in the mouth. The animal then takes the food inside the mouth, not chewing it as other water creatures. The amphibians are carnivores, and their diet is comprised of insects, tadpoles and small fish, and worms.

Minimal Handling

The one thing you must avoid to wish for your axolotl an extended time is handling it. You’ll need to handle it at times, particularly when cleaning your tank and other similar things.

But contact should be avoided, and handling of axolotls should be limited at a minimum. They’re delicate creatures, and it’s not difficult to damage any of them. Axolotls cannot completely regenerate lost limbs, but they don’t make them any better off in terms of stress levels or their lifespan overall.

Additionally, axolotls may be removed from the water for short periods, but this isn’t advised. Axolotls are covered in a slime coat that is removed with your hands and evaporate in the atmosphere. The slime coat shields them, keeping bacteria and parasites at bay and also keeping them humid.

If they stay away from the ocean for long enough, the protective coat will fall off and put the axolotl in immediate danger. However you go about it, don’t touch the axolotl in the smallest amount possible and then leave its water in at all times you can.

The hair’s feathery branches double as Gills.

Alongside having fully functioning lungs, they also have gills to assist in breathing. Gills are useful in the time when amphibians are taking a bath on the floor in the water. However, research has shown that these creatures don’t entirely rely on gills to breathe when they are in the water. This is because they frequently return to the top of the water to breathe with their lung.

The Right Tank Setup

Yes, you require plants, a filter and other items, but what’s vital to keep in mind when dealing with axolotls is that they require a very specific substrate.

The reason behind this is that axolotls are extremely clumsy and avid eaters. They often consume their food directly on the substrate. Thus, axolotls typically consume an entire mouthful of the substrate with their meals.

If you don’t have the correct substance when people ingest it, it may be damaged and, more precisely, it blocks the digestive tract of the person, which can result in death.

The best option is to utilize high-quality aquarium sand, which has been made to stop impaction from taking place. The use of gravel as axolotl substrate is not in any way suggested.

Regeneration of lost organs and limbs

Amazingly, these animals can restore limbs and organs in just several weeks. If they sustain injury to their lungs, the spinal cord, the heart, or parts of their brains, the parts will recover without any visible scarring. This is because amphibians possess a specific protein called c–Fos, which is essential for assisting the process of regeneration. There is no limitation to the number of times they can heal damaged limbs and parts.

The Right Tank Mates

Another thing you have to do to ensure the longevity of the Mexican strolling fish keeps them in the proper tankmates.

The ideal tank companions for these small fish are other Axolotls. It’s also possible to add small, peaceful fish to your tank, for example, minnows: shrimp and snails.

Other than this, there aren’t enough tankmates for Axolotls. Any fast, large swimming or eating territorial, aggressive, as well as bottom dwellers, must be avoided.

If a fish is found to meet any of the above requirements, then it shouldn’t be kept into the axolotl tank, and even less one of them. For example, an aggressive and territorial Betta fish is certainly not a good idea.

Axolotls in research

One of the most notable talents of the axolotl is the ability to regenerate virtually anybody part feet, legs, the tails of arms and legs, and even pieces of the brain and the heart. It doesn’t stop there with the regeneration of their body parts. Organs of all kinds like eyes can be transferred between axolotls and not be rejected by the body’s immunity system. In 1968, researchers demonstrated that they could transplant the head of an Axolotl to another, and it worked as expected. Combining these capabilities makes axolotls an attractive model organism for researchers.

In 2018, scientists discovered an additional axolotl-related blunder. The genome of axolotls is huge. It contains around 32 billion DNA nucleotides axolotl genome is larger than that of the human genome. It is approximately ten times smaller, It also is the biggest animal genome that has been sequenced from beginning to end to date. Researchers are scouring the genome in search of secrets of the axolotl’s regeneration capabilities.

What are the Most Common Causes of Axolotl Death?


Axolotls do not have any kind of self-defence. They’re slow-moving and have no claws or teeth. They are therefore easy to catch for predators in the wild.

Invasive species introduced into their home region have eaten the axolotls.


Their tiny habitat within the lake area near Mexico City has been a negative to this axolotl population. The species nearly went extinct in 2010 because of water pollution and is still threatened in the wild in the present.

Health Problems

Axolotls are prone to health issues such as the accumulation of fluid, tumours, infections, bacteria, and parasites.

The axolotl’s health issues are due to interbreeding. The genetic pool is only getting smaller as they approach their extinction from the wilderness.


The main point here is that you must adhere to all the guidelines we’ve provided today so that you can allow your axolotl to reach its maximum age. They are fragile and sensitive animals that require a lot of attention.

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