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Old 11th December 2009   #12 (permalink)
taherman
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Default Re: EVEN more captive plethodontid breedings...

Here's a quick summary

For environmental parameters at oviposition:
P. ruber: water temp 54F, air temp 53-62F (night-day), photoperiod 9:34 light, 14:26 dark

These general environmental parameters are the same for E. lucifuga. However, the big change I made a couple months ago for this species was to set up a completely dark enclosure with ~58F water (Kentucky cave temperature) running out through a bulkhead into a lighted enclosure with seasonally varying water temp. I've seen courtship and eggs inside the females for years with lucifuga, but they would never lay. I noticed when they had eggs in them they always tried to swim upstream (which makes sense...water runs OUT of caves). Their previous setup had water running INTO the dark enclosure, which was apparently backwards in the minds of lucifuga. If they lay again next year I'd say I've definitely figured something out.

The biggest changes for the ruber were setting up an individual pair together off exhibit, planning an oviposition site for the female (more details in later posts..) and putting them through a full year of temperature cycling described below.

Both species have water trickling into their enclosures, in the ruber, and on the light side of the lucifuga this is carbon filtered city water, with temp varying seasonally from roughly 40-70F. On the dark side of the lucifuga the water is from a reservoir of the plethodontid seep exhibit which is relatively stable at 58-62F year round. Ambient air in the room is from ~36-74F, varying seasonally. Photoperiod was adjusted monthly until this October. Since then it has been is adjusted daily thanks to the fancy new Intermatic timers that have astronomical dawn/dusk cycles programmed in.

I've got more photos I'll be adding in the next few days.
-Tim
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