The Tiger Salamanders are among the largest land salamander species in the world. These typically large salamanders range in size from about 12 cm (newly metamorphosed) to 33 cm. The most common Minnesota subspecies, the Eastern Tiger Salamander, is black to olive with yellow spots or blotches. In western Minnesota there is another subspecies, the Gray Tiger Salamander, that has no yellow patterns, but instead ranges in color from solid black to gray to olive.
Tiger Salamanders prefer to spend most of their time underground in burrows, but are usually seen during heavy rains and while migrating in the spring and fall. This species is fairly tolerant of urban development, though only to a certain extent. The deliberate introduction of fish into their breeding ponds and the danger posed by automobiles have greatly reduced the number of Tiger Salamanders statewide.