Japanese Giant Salamander - Andrias japonicus


Japanese Giant Salamanders grow up to 56 inches (142 cm) in length. With their bodies are flattened without external gills but typical lateral skinfolds for improved oxygen absorption. A. japonicus resemble their Chinese cousins. Japanese Giant Salamanders are known for their longevity - possibly they may live for over 100 years.


Japanese Giant Salamander   Japanese Giant Salamander


Like its Chinese cousin, A. japonicus exhibits a peculiar mating behavior: Several males may spawn several females in a big rolling “spawn fest” supervised by a den master. The den master establishes the den and guards the eggs, but does not appear to take part in the spawning.


Nest with eggs   Eggs



Japanese Giant Salamanders inhabit clear, oxygen-rich mountain streams with suitable den sites. They are also known to migrate along rivers. Occasionally they even leave the water and travel over land.


Habitat of A. japonicus   Salamander on the road

Conservation Issues

River dams and pollution are the main causes for habitat loss.


Habitat loss through damming   Migration barrier


Movement patterns and population structure of Andrias japonicus, Japanese Giant Salamander, in the Tsuchiya River, Tottori Prefecture, Sumio Okada [abstract]