Are Axolotls Asexual? How Do Axolotls Reproduce? 7 Interesting Facts

It is important to study an axolotl before choosing to care for it. If you want to increase the axolotl population, you also have to know the right way of breeding because the axolotl survivability from fertilization to hatching must be closely monitored. The question is, how do axolotls reproduce?

Axolotls reproduce asexually, and the fertilization method is inside the female’s body internally. The female axolotl collects the spermatophores released by the male axolotl and deposited in their cloaca. Axolotls do not reproduce sexually at all. Breeding can be done at any time if the condition of the tank is suitable.

Because many do not know about “are axolotls asexual,” we will discuss it in this article until the end.

Are axolotls asexual - how do axololts reproduce
Are Axolotls Asexual – How do Axolotls reproduce?


How Do Axolotls Reproduce?

The process of reproduction of the axolotl is not sexual. Are axolotls asexual? Yes, if the axolotl is sexually mature and ready for breeding, the female axolotl can take the axolotl spermatophores to be placed in her cloaca.

Axolotls can be sexually mature from the age of 6 months. Still, it is safer if the axolotl matures at 18 months so that a greater percentage of female axolotls can produce fertilized eggs because they are old enough.

If forced breeding is at an age before that, there will be more unfertilized eggs, and the survivability of eggs is also lower. This will not be a problem for the male axolotl but should concern the female axolotl.


Do Female Axolotls Lay Eggs Without A Male?

For the initial step of axolotl breeding, the female axolotl and male axolotl must be in the same tank until the male axolotl releases 5-25 spermatophores, and the female axolotl will catch it and start the breeding process.

Are axolotls asexual? Yes, axolotl reproducing asexually. After this breeding process, the male axolotl can be separated from the tank and allow the female axolotl to spawn the eggs.

The distance between fertilization and spawning eggs is between 12 to 72 hours. After the female axolotl has laid their eggs, the female axolotl can be transferred to another tank.

This will ensure the difference between breeding tanks and common axolotl tanks for adults. Adult axolotls can eat eggs or babies, so the tank must be separated if you want to practice breeding.

If you look on the Internet, there are lots of asexual axolotl meme with their adorable faces. Many do not understand that even though they are asexual, they can still reproduce in large numbers.


What Are Axolotl Eggs?

Female axolotls lay their eggs a few days after depositing spermatophores in their cloaca. Are axolotls asexual? Yes, the axolotl does not have sexual intercourse but only takes the spermatophores after the male axolotl releases it in the same tank.

Fertilized eggs will have a diameter of about 1.1cm, while unfertilized eggs are much smaller at 0.2cm with a cloudy color. Unfertilized eggs are eggs that die and will not develop. Fertilized eggs will be white or black according to the color of the parents.

The time for axolotl eggs to develop is around 14-30 days depending on the tank’s temperature and the water quality. Embryos will move little by little in the protective jelly portion until they hatch from the eggs.

Axolotl eggs can stick to live plants in big clumps or separately. If you want to move it to another place, try not to break the protective jelly.


Axolotl Spermatophores

Male axolotls that are sexually active can secrete packets of sperm or are called spermatophores. When you have placed a pair of axolotls, the male axolotl will dance by moving his tail and making writhing motions. This will attract the female axolotl to be near the male axolotl.

After the male axolotl spermatophores release between 5-25, the female axolotl will pick up the sperm one or more into her cloaca. Fertilization occurs internally. When this process occurs, the male axolotl can continue its dance until the fertilization process is complete.

Are axolotls asexual? Yes, because fertilization is not directly from the male axolotl’s body to the female axolotl’s body, but the female axolotl only takes the packet of sperm from the male axolotl.


What To Do When Axolotl Laying Their Eggs?

When the female axolotl is laying their eggs, move the male axolotl to another tank. The female axolotl does not immediately lay all her eggs at once but periodically between 12-72 hours until the female axolotl finishes releasing all her eggs.

The number of axolotl eggs varies, depending on the size of the female axolotl and its age. The number of eggs can be from 100 to 1000.

There are various places for laying the eggs, and there are axolotls that put their eggs around rocks, above caves, on plants or scattered all over the tank. The female axolotl can also spread eggs in big clumps or separately.

Are axolotls asexual? The asexual axolotl process is unique. After the male axolotl dances and produces spermatophores, the female axolotl will go towards the male and take the sperm to be placed in his cloaca.

Are axolotls asexual - how do axololts reproduce
Are Axolotls Asexual? – How do Axolotls reproduce?


Tank Requirements For Breeding Axolotl

After the fertilization process is complete and the female axolotl has laid their eggs, the steps after removing the female axolotl from the egg tank must be considered.

There are several requirements that must be met so that the breeding is preserved until hatching time. See the table below for some things to watch out for.

Tank RequirementsExplanation
Suitable tank10 gallon tanks or more to treat from larvae to juveniles.
Good substrateUse aquarium sand instead of rocks.
Have water filterAfter spawning eggs, the female axolotl will produce a lot of waste. A water filter is used to keep the tank clean.
Water temperatureTemperature between 19-20°C is the right temperature for axolotl eggs to hatch.
Aquarium plantsAxolotls are more likely to spread their eggs on plants. Put live or fake plants around the tank.

Meeting every breeding need will increase hatch success with high survivability. If you are new to axolotl breeding, you will ask, “are axolotls asexual” because you will not see axolotls mating sexually.


Are Axolotls Aggressive?

Axolotls are aggressive even to other axolotls. They are not used to living with tank mates, and they will exhibit a dominant and predatory attitude towards each other, so the axolotl is more likely to fin-nipping or nibbling on smaller fish.

If you want to practice breeding, make sure the axolotl is adult and sexually active because the adult axolotl has started to lose its aggressive nature. And only put the pair of axolotls in the same tank until the fertilization process is complete. After that, you can separate the two again.

If axolotl is aggressive, is it necessary to put them in the same tank during mating? The female axolotl will not be able to produce eggs without fertilization by obtaining spermatophores.

This will be connected with the question “axolotls are asexual,” even though axolotls are not sexually active, they need a male presence for fertilization to occur. The process of the emergence of eggs can only be after the spermatophores are placed in the cloaca by the female axolotl.


Axolotl Metamorphosis

Axolotls do not undergo metamorphosis like most salamanders, and they stay in the water for the rest of their lives. While other salamanders metamorphose by changing their respiration from gills to lungs to live on land, the axolotl has both lungs and gills to stay in the water.

Axolotls are neoteny, which means they can reach sexual maturity without having to undergo metamorphosis. Axolotl lack of thyroid is used to produce thyroxine used for the metamorphosis by salamanders.


Are Axolotls Endangered?

Axolotls are critically endangered animals, and some states forbid having them as pets and are protected by the area.

You will find axolotls less and less in the wild and can only be seen in a few breeders. If you want to participate in increasing the axolotl population, you need to learn how to breed and maintain water quality.

Are axolotls asexual? Yes, they don’t do the mating process sexually, the male axolotl spreads the spermatophores, and the female axolotl picks it up.


Why Is Axolotl Endangered?

Axolotls have lost a lot of their habitat, and then there is so much water pollution that axolotls cannot survive in their habitat. Pollution from land and the amount of garbage that enters rivers or the sea makes the development of axolotls also stop.

Axolotls include animals that must be in clean water and cold temperatures so that if their habitat has been exposed to pollution, the axolotl will gradually die.

The number of human development who only want to care for pets but do not want to do breeding will reduce the axolotl population for a long time. The Axolotls asexual breeding process also has a low survivability percentage, so special practices are needed for the breeding process.

Not everyone understands how axolotls reproduce because there are still many who ask, “are axolotls asexual” or not. Asexual axolotls gets ready for the fertilization and need to be placed in the same tank until the fertilization process is complete, then separate the male and female again until the eggs hatch.


Asexual Meaning

Asexual means not involving any sexual activity, associations, or feelings. For axolotls, they do not have sexual intercourse like other animals, and axolotl asexual only inserts spermatophores into the cloaca.

Are axolotls asexual? Although we can’t confirm whether the axolotl has no feelings for the opposite sex, when the male axolotl dances before releasing the spermatophores, the female axolotl will go towards the male axolotl and pick up the spermatophores.


Axolotls Reproduce Asexually

Don’t be surprised if axolotl asexual reproduction can still be fertilized in the female’s body internally. How do you tell the difference between a female and a male axolotl? You can see from the shape, body size, tail length, and cloaca.

Besides, you asked about “axolotls are asexual” you should focus on the tank that the female axolotls will use for laying their eggs because the egg’s survivability is the main thing.

Leaving the female axolotls alone when laying their eggs, then leaving the eggs in the tank without adult axolotls makes the eggs safe to develop until they hatch without being eaten.

Maintaining the temperature and water quality is the next step after the eggs are in the tank so that they develop accordingly.

Ensure the female axolotl is 18 months old before you enter a tank with the male axolotl so that it produces more fertilized eggs. If the female axolotl is younger than that, there are fewer chances of fertilized eggs, and many eggs will not develop until they hatch.


Final Verdict – Are Axolotls Asexual

Axolotl breeding will help in increasing the population to avoid critically endangered status. Doing axolotl breeding practices must be considered so that you can have a lot of healthy axolotls.

Are axolotls asexual - how do axololts reproduce
Are Axolotls Asexual – How do Axolotls reproduce

Are Axolotls asexual? Axolotls reproduce asexually, meaning without involving any physical sexual activity, and female axolotls take spermatophores released by male axolotls while in the same tank. The male axolotl will “dance” to signal the female axolotl before the spermatophores are released.

After the spermatophores are taken by the female axolotl, they will put it in their cloaca, after which the fertilization process will occur. Female axolotls take 12-72 hours to lay their eggs until all the eggs come out.

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