How To Tell If Axolotl Eggs Are Fertilized?

Axolotls are super popular aquatic pets, and it’s not hard to see why! In addition to being hardy and easy to care for, they are also very cool animals. They have the ability to regenerate body parts, being able to regrow the same limb up to five times!

Axolotls’ unique appearance and big smile are also a big draw, as their lifelong tadpole features make for a surprisingly adorable animal.

Although, a lot of people are drawn to axolotls because of their ability to breed. Axolotls are, well, not very picky when it comes to mates, and fertilized eggs can appear within a few hours of the mating process.

Female axolotls can produce a huge amount of eggs at one time, making them an ideal pet for anyone hoping to become a breeder or for those who simply want to grow a little axolotl community.

Saying that the process of breeding axolotls can be a little confusing and really time-consuming. With so many eggs within a female’s spawn, it can be a very overwhelming experience. In particular, distinguishing between healthy, fertilized eggs and bad, unfertilized eggs is quite tricky. However, this is an important part of the process.

Whether you’re planning on becoming an axolotl breeder, or you’ve just been caught off-guard by a particularly randy pair of axolotls, check out the information below. To help you understand your axolotls a little better, we have outlined the differences between fertilized and unfertilized eggs, in addition to discussing the breeding process as a whole.

Table of Contents

How To Tell If Axolotl Eggs Are Fertilized Featured Image

Axolotl Life Cycle

Axolotls are a species of salamander but they actually have a particularly unique genetic makeup. Even when they are fully mature, Axolotls have tadpole features, such as feathery gills.

This is due to a condition called ‘neoteny’. Strictly speaking, they are carnivorous amphibians, though they spend their entire lives within the water.

The life cycle of an Axolotl begins through an embryo which is held by the female axolotl. This egg will then be fertilized by the male axolotl’s spermatophores. From the fertilized egg, a young hatchling will appear after roughly 14 days.

Though, this can take up to a month depending on the temperature of the water. The warmer the water, the faster they hatch.

After roughly 9 days of consistent daily feeding after hatching, the young axolotl should be roughly 2cm in size. At this time, its front limps will start to be visibly developing. As they grow, axolotls have been known to engage in cannibalistic behaviors.

Axolotls can be expected to stop growing at roughly 40cm. When their toes become a dark brown or black color, and their cochlea areas are more prominent, Axolotls have reached sexual maturity. Though female axolotls usually take longer to grow in comparison to their male counterparts, once they are around 18cm long they should be fully mature.

As a consequence of seasonal temperature and day-length changes, axolotls tend to breed in late winter and early spring. To display interest in a female axolotl, male axolotls nudge the female’s backside with their nose.

Following, it will attempt to court her by leading her around the aquarium. As he moves forward, he will continue to deposit pockets of his spermatophore, which are taken by the female and positioned into her cloaca.

When spawning commences, female axolotls really go through it. Breeding takes a huge toll on their bodies, and as such, they need an extended recuperation period after laying eggs. This period should generally be at least 1 to 3 months long.

Can Axolotls Lay Unfertilized Eggs?

Female axolotls generally don’t lay unfertilized eggs. This means that if your axolotl has produced eggs, this is a consequence of the axolotl picking up spermatophores.

How To Tell If An Axolotl Egg Is Fertilized?

While female axolotls won’t produce unfertilized eggs by themselves, there is a chance that some eggs within a particular spawn will be unfertilized or dead.

Generally, healthy, fertilized axolotl eggs will have a solid black or white sphere within their transparent casing. This sphere is usually a good sign that an axolotl egg is fertilized. However, it can be difficult to distinguish good eggs from bad eggs early on.

Though, you can easily tell the difference between good eggs from bad eggs after a little bit of time. Good axolotl eggs will transform to contain slim white or black cylinders. One end of the cylinder will be a little chunkier than the other, as this is the head of the axolotl, and the other, more pointed end is the tail.

If an axolotl egg is bad, the shape within the transparent casing will be far more cylindrical. These eggs will contain a larger, murky white blob, and the casing may also appear quite fuzzy, as mold will begin to grow on it.

If this happens, it’s a good idea to separate the bad egg from the good ones. If you want to dispose of a bad axolotl egg, you can feed it to a mature axolotl.

How Many Eggs Do Axolotls Lay?

Fertilization can occur within a few hours or up to a few days. Female axolotls can then produce anywhere from 400 to 1000 eggs at a time. Female axolotls also have the ability to breed multiple times, however, it does take a large toll on their body.

How Many Axolotl Eggs Will Survive?

How to tell if axolotl eggs are fertilizeds

Giving a survival rate for axolotl eggs is nearly impossible. The number of healthy axolotls that survive will mainly be down to the care they receive in the early days of their existence.

However, with that being said, reputable axolotl breeders generally only raise 20 to 30 axolotl at a time. Though you could keep as many as 200 hatchlings in a 20-gallon tank, within a few days they would need to be separated into much smaller groups.

Therefore, many breeders will opt to kill a large portion of the eggs that the mature axolotl produces. This can be done by putting them in the freezer or feeding them to the mature axolotl.

How Do You Keep Axolotl Eggs Alive?

As discussed above, the number of healthy axolotls that are produced will depend on how well you care for them. To ensure the best outcome possible, we’ve listed a step-by-step guide detailing how to best care for your axolotl eggs. Check it out below!

Separate The Eggs And The Parents

The eggs and the parent axolotls must be separated as axolotls are known to eat their eggs. This can be done in one of two ways.

Either, you can remove the mature axolotls from their tank and put them into a different one, or you can remove the eggs and put them into a different container. First-time breeders often opt for the first option, however, axolotl eggs are surprisingly hardy, and can be removed well as long as it’s done carefully.

Provide Optimal Conditions For The Eggs

The water you use in the container which holds the eggs should be hard, dechlorinated water. The temperature of the water should also be warm, which will cause them to hatch sooner. The maximum temperature that the water should be is roughly 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Although, if you want a bit more time before your Axolotl eggs hatch, you can lower the temperature to around 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

Its also important to note at this point that your axolotl eggs will soon be hatching, and as such, they will need to be fed. In fact, within 24 to 72 hours of hatching, axolotls will require food. But what do newborn axolotls eat you may ask? This food must be very small, live items. At this time, you can feed them things such as newly hatched brine shrimp, small Daphnia, Moina, or Microworms. When very young, they should be fed once or twice a day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are My Axolotl Eggs White?

Axolotl eggs can be either white or black. White eggs are simply the spawn of an albino axolotl.

Where Do Axolotls Lay Their Eggs In The Wild?

Unfortunately, axolotls are rarely found in the wild. In fact, they are officially classified as an endangered species. It is estimated that there are roughly 1,200 axolotls in the wild, which has decreased from the estimated number of 6000 in 1998.

Axolotls are also nocturnal, private animals that enjoy hiding. As you can imagine, this makes it very difficult to find axolotls in the wild. As such, it’s tricky to know where they lay their eggs in the wild. However, it is thought that axolotls like to lay their eggs simply on plants and vegetation that is nearby.

Do Axolotls Eat Their Eggs And Babies?

In short, yes! This is why it’s very important to separate eggs from the mature axolotl.

Why Do Axolotls Eat Their Babies?

Axolotls aren’t fussy eaters at all. If they are hungry, they will eat literally anything that will fit in their mouth.


Hello and welcome to Pets From Afar. I'm Glen. My daughter Siri and I are mad about axolotls. I created this website to document our findings and experiences, as we learn more about these amazing amphibians. Follow along and enjoy the fun!

Recent Posts