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A. mavortium is a very large salamander, among the largest known in North America. It has a broad head and a stout body. There is substantial geographic variation in color and pattern. Typically a light gray to grayish black dorsum is overlain with scattered black or dirty yellow dots or a network of yellow bars and lines. Venter varies from light to as dark as the dorsum. Hatchlings display alternating dark and light middorsal blotches and a pale lateral stripe.

Ambystoma mavortium consists of a number of former subspecies of Ambystoma tigrinum. A. tigrinum now solely refers to the subspecies A. tigrinum tigrinum while A. mavortium includes ex-subspecies A. t. diaboli, A. t. mavortium, A. t. melanostictum, A. t. nebulosum, and A. t. stebbinsi. (Irschick & Shaffer 1997)


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