In the captivating world of aquatic creatures, axolotls hold a special place with their charming smiles, regenerative abilities, and unique biology. Among the many questions that arise in the minds of axolotl enthusiasts is one particularly intriguing query: Do female axolotls lay eggs without a male?
To reproduce, both the male and female axolotls have to be present and participate actively. So, female axolotls cannot lay eggs without the presence and participation of their male partner. But it is possible to spawn those eggs without a male axolotl.
In this article, we’ll dive deep into the fascinating reproductive habits of these remarkable salamanders, shedding light on the mysterious world of axolotl reproduction.
Is it possible for female axolotls to lay eggs without males?
When you own a pet, you should know every aspect of its behavior to ensure its well-being. You should know its feeding habits, how it should be housed, what conditions it likes, and what it doesn’t like. Another thing you must know is its reproduction process. Not only will it help you spay or neuter your pets when applicable, but you can also take care of them when they do breed.
Axolotls are no exception to this. Since they can neither be neutered nor spayed, it is only natural for them to breed. And like most amphibians, axolotls lay eggs to reproduce. But, what if you keep only a female axolotl in your tank? Do they lay eggs without a male, like some other amphibians such as the Silvery Salamander?
No, they do not and can not. The axolotl reproduction process can only take place with the presence and active participation of a male axolotl. So, if you do not have a male axolotl in your tank, your female axolotl will not lay eggs.
So, how do axolotls reproduce?
Now that you know that female axolotls can not lay eggs without a male, it is time for you to understand how these amphibians reproduce. If you want to breed axolotls, this process will be crucial. Even if you don’t want your axolotls to breed, you should know about this process, so that if you see your axolotls doing this, you can separate them as soon as possible.
The axolotl breeding process starts with the male when it starts to court the female. He will continue to nudge the female until she is ready to mate. If she is willing, then the male will lead her around. As he proceeds, he will continue to deposit his spermatophores in front of the female.
The female will then move over to the spermatophores, position herself over them, and use her cloaca to bank them. The male will repeat the process for several hours and the female will continue to collect his sperm for the entire time.
This will ensure the eggs will be fertilized and ready to spawn baby axolotls down the line. The presence and participation of the male aren’t necessary for spawning the eggs.
Read Next: Steps to follow after your axolotl lays eggs
When is the breeding season for axolotls?
If your goal is to breed axolotls, then you should know when these animals like to breed. Usually, axolotls breed the most from December to June. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t breed at any other time throughout the year, as female axolotls can lay eggs throughout the year.
There is a very important thing you must know if you are a breeder. As we have said earlier, female axolotls can lay eggs throughout the year. This happens if a female and a male are always kept together. While it might seem profitable for you as a breeder, since you will always have a batch of axolotl babies to sell, this is not recommended.
This is because keeping eggs inside the body and laying them is a very stressful process for the female. It takes a lot of energy and nutrients for the female to ensure her eggs are healthy during the gestation period. Additionally, the process of laying eggs is equally stressful for her body. So, if she is constantly laying eggs throughout the year, the female axolotl might end up dying.
Also, just because a female axolotl can lay eggs when housed with a male doesn’t necessarily mean it will always lay eggs. There are a few factors that determine whether a female axolotl will lay eggs. These are:
- Sexual Maturity: A sexually immature female axolotl can never lay eggs, no matter for how long they are housed with a male. Most females reach sexual maturity at the age of 6 months, but there have been instances where it had taken years for a female to be mature.
This depends on their diet and living conditions. If the diet of axolotls is full of nutrients and their living conditions are top-notch, you can expect your female axolotl to reach adulthood sooner. We suggest you wait until your female axolotl reaches the age of 18 months, or it becomes at least 7 inches long to start breeding.
- Season: Wild axolotls breed during cooler temperatures of late winter as well as early spring. Their reproduction depends on the water temperature and the length of the day. When the water temperature drops to around 12 to 14 degrees Celsius, it is the best time for axolotls to breed.
So, if you want your axolotls to breed, lower your water temperature, and the natural light coming through the window will take care of the light cycle. But do not install artificial lighting inside the aquarium as it will mess up the biological clock of these amphibians as the water temperature will tell them to breed while the light will not.
Read More: Do Axolotls Eat Their Own Eggs?
Since axolotls are exotic pets, most owners don’t know too much about raising them. This can cause a lot of issues if you are a breeder or if you want to house multiple axolotls together. Once you know if female axolotls lay eggs without a male, you can take whatever step you deem necessary.