Axolotls Growth Stages and Growth Rate

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Are you wondering how long it takes for axolotls to grow up completely? Are you interested how long it takes for them to fully develop, and what the growth stages of an axolotl are?

Then you’ve landed in the right place. In this article, we’ll take a look at what the axolotl growth stages are and what the growth rate of the axolotls is.

The total life expectancy of an axolotl is 12-15 years. That means that as long as you treat them correctly and you give them good care, they will last for quite a long time. however, their development until they become fully grown axolotls is quite short. They have 5 stages of development, and each stage takes some time.

However, it will take up to a year for the axolotl to reach their final stage of development. They will stay in that state, which is called the miniature adult stage, for the rest of their lives. After around 6 months, axolotls are able to breed, which is good to know for those who intend to breed these beautiful animals.

So let’s jump right into the stages and discuss each stage briefly.

Egg Stage

Obviously, the first stage of the axolotl development is the egg stage. This is where the female lays eggs after they are breeding, and it takes some time for these eggs to grow and for axolotls to start developing from these eggs.

It’s recommended that you breed axolotls at least once a year – if your plans are to breed them, of course. In one breeding session, a female can spawn up to 1000 eggs in just one season, which is a testament of how good these animals are when it comes to breeding. Once the eggs are produced, the females are ready to go again, and to start breeding once again.

The best time to breed axolotls is from December to June. That’s when they are most likely to be highly fertile, and that’s also when we recommend you to breed them.

They become fertile after around 6 months. That’s when you can start trying to put a male and a female together to see if they start breeding. Once they do, you’ll see that the female will show clear signs when she is pregnant – swollen belly means she’s carrying eggs inside, and she’s ready to release them.

The first stage of the axolotl development is thus the egg stage.

Embryo Stage

Once the axolotl has been released from the eggs, they will spawn as small embryos. These embryos are usually surrounded by jelly to protect the embryo, and it can measure only around 2mm in diameter.

There’s also a second smaller stage to the embryo stage, which is when the body of the axolotl becomes more defined. Right before the embryo hatches, the axolotl will start to form its body and its head, although it will still not have legs yet.

In the second stage of the embryo, the axolotl can measure around 11mm in diameter, which symbolizes quick growth of the axolotl at this stage. This stage can last for a few days to weeks, so it varies from animal to animal.

Then, the axolotl is finally ready for the next stage, which is the larva stage.

Larva Stage without Legs

There are also two stages of the larva stage – the first one is when the axolotl is still without legs. This stage is crucial for the development of the axolotl. It is still unable to move around quickly and still needs a lot of support from the parents; in some cases, you’ll need to make sure they are protected from potential predators as they are not able to move around for themselves yet.

In the first few weeks of the larva stage, you’ll be able to see through their skin, because the skin is so thin that it’s clearly possible to see the organs through it. Until the skin gets thicker, you’ll be able to see the internal organs, but it also means the axolotl is quite vulnerable to touch at this stage.

After around two weeks, you’ll see the first signs that the limbs of the axolotl will start to develop. This signifies the next stage of their development, which is the next larva stage.

Larva Stage with 2 Legs

The next stage of the larva stage is when the legs will start to develop, just like with other amphibians.

You’ll notice that the front legs will develop first, and the rear legs will develop last. This is typical for axolotls and it’s quite unusual for it to be the other way around. This stage can last several weeks, and the growth will slowly start to slow down until the axolotl reaches the adult stage.

This stage can even last several months – up to 6 months and maybe even longer sometimes. At this stage, the diet of the axolotl is very important. Make sure you feed them easily digestible food with lots of protein, and in smaller meals.

Young Adult

The young adult stage is when the axolotl really starts to grow up, and you’ll start to see the first signs that the animal is ready to live on its own.

This stage is the stage between the adult stage and the larva stage – it is in this stage when the axolotl starts becoming sexually active and when they become available for breeding, that’s when you know that the axolotl has grown up completely.

Adult Axolotl

Finally, the adult stage comes by. This is when the axolotl is completely able to live on its own and when it’s capable to start breeding.

This stage is the longest stage of the life cycle of an axolotl. It will last for the rest of their lives. It starts at around 6 months of age when they become fertile, and it lasts all the way for the rest of their lives.

What is the Lifespan of an Axolotl?

The average life span of an axolotl is between 12-15 years, depending on how well you treat the axolotl, and on several other factors, such as genetics, the water conditions, the diet, and the overall health of the axolotl.

Some owners have reported their axolotls have survived even past the 15 years mark, although that is quite rare. Prevention of diseases is key, as well as good diet and a good and stress-free lifestyle.

When Does an Axolotl Become Adult?

They become adult when they are able to breed. This happens at around 6-8 months of age, and it can last up to a year before they are completely able to breed.

How Many Eggs do Axolotls Lay?

Axolotls will lay up to 1000 eggs per season of breeding, which is a lot. And once the female stops offloading the eggs, she is ready to breed again.

How Big Can Axolotls Grow?

The average length of axolotls is between 9-12 inches (up to 30cm) when they are fully grown, although it depends on several factors, such as genetics and the living conditions, as well as the size of the tank.


The axolotl growth stages are typical of an amphibian – they will spawn as eggs and go through the larva stages, until they become adults. It’s interesting to observe the axolotls grow, but good care is very important when they develop.

Updated: August 30, 2022

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