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Press Release 07-122

Interbreeding Between Invasive and Native Salamander Species Creates Hardy Hybrids Likely to Replace Parental Populations

Discovery of salamander hybrids has important implications for evolution and conservation

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The California Tiger Salamander, the Barred Tiger Salamander and a hybrid of the two.

The California Tiger Salamander is an endangered species. The Barred Tiger Salamander is an introduced species. Researchers have shown that when the two mate, the hybrid offspring show the lowest death rate of the lot.

Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation


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Adult hybrid salamander.

Adult hybrid salamander.

Credit: Benjamin M. Fitzpatrick, University of Tennessee


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Adult California Tiger Salamander.

Adult California Tiger Salamander.

Credit: Benjamin M. Fitzpatrick, University of Tennessee


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Adult Barred Tiger Salamander.

Adult Barred Tiger Salamander.

Credit: Benjamin M. Fitzpatrick, University of Tennessee


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Hybrid tiger salamander larvae.

Hybrid tiger salamander larvae at various stages of development.

Credit: Bruce Delgado, Bureau of Land Management


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California Tiger Salamander larva.

California Tiger Salamander larva.

Credit: Benjamin M. Fitzpatrick, University of Tennessee


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Barred Tiger Salamander larva

Barred Tiger Salamander larva.

Credit: Benjamin M. Fitzpatrick, University of Tennessee


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Tiger Salamanders breed under water in landlocked ponds.

Tiger Salamanders breed under water in landlocked ponds.

Credit: Benjamin M. Fitzpatrick, University of Tennessee


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