Do Axolotls Bite? [Updated]

Yes, Axolotls do bite but don’t worry their bites are basically harmless and they will only bite you if they mistake you for food. Axolotls are not aggressive toward humans.

Axolotls [Detailed Guide]

If you didn’t know already Axolotls are a beautiful little type of salamander that hail from Mexico. These salamanders are extremely rare in the wild and it’s thought there are only around 1000 wild Axolotls left in existence. However, on a domestic scale, these Mexican salamanders have been growing in popularity. Especially in the exotic pet communities and for good reason, they’re absolutely adorable. Although potentially hard to acquire Axolotls can make for great pets even for people who are inexperienced in taking care of exotic animals. 

do Axolotls bite?

So you’ve decided you want to become an Axolotl owner. What about an Axolotl’s temperament? Do Axolotls bite? Both are surprisingly common questions I get asked. Yes, Axolotls will bite the majority of things they come into contact with, especially if it moves and looks like your finger. However, this doesn’t mean the Axolotls are dangerous or even necessarily aggressive animals. Let’s find out more.

So Why Do Axolotls Bite?

Axolotls are simple animals with straightforward thought processes. Movement generally means food in the Axolotl’s brain. When looking after pets it’s important that we try to understand that animals and humans see and feel the world in a completely different way from ourselves. Their brains have a limited range of functions and interpreting movement is a big one for Axolotls. Movement for an Axolotl boils down to one of two things, it’s food or it’s a predator/someone invading their turf, both actions generally result in biting either for eating or for defense. Although admittedly they bite predominately for eating not in defense.

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As some other blogs pointed out Axolotls come from Xochimilco Lake in Mexico City. This is the ONLY place in the world where Axolotls live naturally in the wild. But unfortunately, many claims regarding this environment are incorrect. No longer are Axolotls “Kings of their environment”. With the introduction of non-native fish such as African tilapia and Asian carp, not to mention changes in temperate and an increase in water pollution, the future looks grim for the Wild Axolotl.

The hard truth is that axolotls are critically endangered in the wild and will most likely be extinct in the future in fact they’ve already been believed to be extinct twice before! The changing environment and the constant interference of humanity into their natural ecosystem have made life for the wild axolotl near impossible.

Do Axolotl Bites Hurt?

Axolotls bites do not hurt but they can be quite surprising, they’re known for making their owners jump in shock at the weird sensation but they are not capable of causing pain to a human. After a little bit of experience and a couple of bites, you should be used to the sensation and no longer feel shocked or surprised by it.

It’s important to try to remain calm or predict the bite in advance. This is so you can prevent sudden quick movements caused by the shock of the sensation. Axolotl’s teeth can grip. If you make a sharp movement while the teeth are gripped you could severely injure your pet. Most likely pulling its teeth out or even worse. Just be prepared.

does an Axolotls's bite hurt?

An Axolotl bite on a human will not cause any pain whatsoever. Axolotls will usually bite any finger they can see in a short distance. This has been described as feeling “like sandpaper or velcro” even from the largest of specimens, it shouldn’t hurt you.

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Axolotl teeth are soft, almost like a rubber (sometimes referred to as sandpaper teeth). Their teeth are not designed for chewing or ripping at food but rather for gripping and holding. Take this into consideration. Let your Axolotl release you from its grip before moving to prevent injury. If for whatever reason your Axolotl is a true water monster and managed to break the skin of your finger then don’t worry. Axolotls are not poisonous just take the usual precautions and clean the area with alcohol to prevent infection. (If this happens ill eat my hat)

Should You Handle Your Axolotls?

An Axolotl isn’t a cuddle kitten or puppy. It’s a delicate little amphibian that can be easily injured if handled by a human. Yes, Axolotls have a regenerative ability they can regrow limbs. Even parts of their brain can grow back. However, this doesn’t mean we can be careless in the way we treat them. Damage to the gills or head of Axolotls will prove fatal.

The only valid reason to touch your pet Axolotls is in the event of cleaning or changing a tank or aquarium. A little tap against their body should be fine but I would personally avoid trying to pick them up.

Axolotls bites guide

In addition, it’s important to remember to wash your hands in this process before and after if contact with human skin is unavoidable. 

Do Axolotls Bite Humans

Axolotls have been known to bite humans, although it is not a common occurrence. Axolotls will bite a human if they mistake them for food or if they feel threatened. If an axolotl is handled gently and properly, it is unlikely to bite. If you have an axolotl as a pet, it is important to learn how to handle it correctly to minimize the risk of a bite.

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Axolotls are known for biting and sometimes this can be a little bit surprising but do not fear their bite cannot hurt you just remain chill and do freak out and cause damage to your pet. If you like Axolotls I recommend you watch some videos about their regenerative abilities. It’s really amazing what they are capable of doing. From regrowing limbs to even their brain Axolotls are seriously cool.