How to name your axolotl

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Walking fish. . . Conner Bonisch who named the new axolotl Toothless at the Gore Aquatic Centre and aquatic services manager Martin Mackereth watch her swim in the tank at the centre. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Maxine the axolotl now has a friend with a name.

Maxine is a white female axolotl and lives in a tank at the Gore Aquatic Centre.

Axolotls are also known as Mexican walking fish and can breathe both in or out of water.

Three years ago a Mataura School teacher gave Maxine to Gore aquatics services manager Martin Mackereth.

Recently Maxine was joined by a black axolotl, and aquatic centre staff held a competition to name the new amphibian.

The winner of the competition was Conner Bonisch (6), who suggested Toothless would be a good name.

While Conner was not the only one to suggest Toothless, he won the competition as it was his name pulled out of the draw of people who had suggested the name.

He had watched a movie about a dragon called Toothless, Conner said.

It was a good place for the axolotls to live as many people stopped by to look at them, Mr Mackereth said.

They were interesting animals.

“They can grow any part of their limb back which is pretty amazing.”

There was a display of aquatic animals at the centre including a turtle, newts and fish.

“They were put in as a distraction so children could be entertained.

“It’s now more the parents that now spend most of the time looking at them [and] talking to them.”

The competition was popular and about 90 entries were received, he said.