Shelledy Elementary

Reptiles & Amphibians

Colorado Life Zones: Seasons, Plants, & Animals

Step 1: Choose One of the Life Zones or Choices Below

Life Zones Menu Bar
Colorado Life Zones General Information Interactive Elevation & Life Zone Diagram Colorado Maps: Life Zones and More Semidesert Shrublands (West CO) Shortgrass Plains Life Zone (East CO) Foothills Woodlands & Shrublands Montane Forests Life Zone Subalpine Life Zone Alpine Life Zone Riparian Life Zones

Subalpine Life Zone: Seasons, Plants, & Animals

Step 2: Choose a Topic from the Subalpine Life Zone & Scroll Down

Subalpine Life Zone General Information
General Information

Subalpine Life Zone Through the Seasons
Through the Seasons

Subalpine Life Zone Extreme Weather
Extreme Weather

Subalpine Life Zone Awesome Adaptations
Awesome Adaptations

Subalpine Life Zone Plants and Trees
Plants and Trees

Subalpine Life Zone Mammals
Mammals

Subalpine Life Zone Birds
Birds

Subalpine Life Zone Reptiles and Amphibians
Reptiles & Amphibians

Reptiles and Amphibians of the Subalpine Life Zone

Even fewer reptiles and amphibians live in the subalpine. The deep winter snows, very short sublapine summers, and cooler temperatures can make it difficult for cold blooded creatures to survive. Only one reptile, the western terrestrial garter snake, can live this high in elevation. Amphibians, like the western chorus frog, boreal toad, and tiger salamander must quickly reproduce and grow up while the temperatures are warm enough during the very short summer. By late summer, they are burrowed into the ground waiting for next summer.

Western or Boreal Toad

CO Herp. Society

CO Div of Wildlife

Hogle Zoo

eNature

Western or Boreal Toad

Tiger Salamander

CO Herp. Society

Hogle Zoo

Bush Gardens

eNature

Tiger Salamander

Western Chorus Frog

CO Herp Society

CSU NDIS

Utah Div of Wildlife

eNature

Western Chorus Frog

Western Terrestrial Garter Snake

CO Herp. Society

CSU NDIS

Utah Div of Wildlife

eNature

Western Terrestrial Garter Snake
_______________ _______________

Awesome Adaptations: Tiger Salamander

Tiger Salamanders have found a way to live in a cold and high climate. Most of the year snow covers the ground in the subalpine. During this time, tiger salamanders hide underground in a small chamber. The ground keeps the temperature from getting to cold. But for a few months in the summer time, it digs its way up, mates, and lays lots of eggs in the newly formed ponds. The eggs quickly turn to larvae and grow gills. They live underwater eating any insects, fish, and fresh water shrimp. As they get bigger some of the salamanders lose their gills and live on the land. They can have beautiful bright yellow and grayish-black patterns on their skin. A tiger salamander will eat any insect or animal that it can fit in its mouth. Some tiger salamander never lose their gills and stay in the water for their entire life. Tiger salamanders with gills are often called waterdogs or mudpuppies. By late August most tiger salamanders have dug themselves a new chamber deep underground waiting for the next summer.

Sources of information and to find more information: CO Herp. Society, Hogle Zoo, Bush Gardens, eNature

Tiger Salamander

Tiger Salamander with gills, often called a waterdog or mudpuppy

Tiger Salamander Tiger Salamander