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Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

This is a discussion on Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic? within the Eurasian Newts (Triturus, former Triturus, Calotriton & Euproctus).. forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; My marms should morph soon. They hatched in late April and are now 6 to 6.5 cm long (see pic) ...

Eurasian Newts (Triturus, former Triturus, Calotriton & Euproctus).. Triturus and its relatives (Ichthyosaura/Mesotriton, Lissotriton, and Ommatotriton) are a diverse and widespread group of newts. While mainly European, several species can be found in the Near and Middle East. Euproctus, the brook newts, are confined to Corsica and Sardinia.

View Poll Results: I've kept my juvenile T. marmoratus

aquatic 17 29.82%
terrestrial 40 70.18%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 26th July 2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

My marms should morph soon. They hatched in late April and are now 6 to 6.5 cm long (see pic) and I have seen them breathe at the surface.

I need to decide whether to keep them aquatic or terrestrial after morphing. I know both has been done successfully by people on this forum. I'm curious though which method is more common and what the pitfalls of each are.

I assume in the wild they are mostly terrestrial, but that may be more of an ecological necessity because of drying ponds than a physiological requirement.

Please take the poll if you have kept marmoratus juveniles and if you wish, elaborate on why you kept them that way ?
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Old 26th July 2011   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

If I were to keep them semi-aquatic, I would opt for a shallow-water setup, which can be a tricky thing to set up well. Thus I have opted for terrestrial.

Among all the species of terrestrial morphs I've dealt with, marmoratus are the easiest. They eat anything that moves, anytime, anywhere. If you have a modest number, you can train them to hand-feed rather easily. They are one of the few species that will eat outside of their regular setup. I posted a thread about this feeding method:
How to make marmoratus grow quickly



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Old 26th July 2011   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

Technically its impossible for these species to be raised under aquatic conditions. Juvenils have a strict terrestrial phase comparable to N.v.viridiscens eft phase. But after many captive and inbreeding generations there are a few people claiming to be possible to rear them in water. I cant prove it myself but I know this is a way too hydrophobic species before sexual maturity. Still I dont know the origin of your individuals. If they're F1 or F2 they shall behave hydrophobic and have severe healthy problems when introduced to water with huge risk of drowning. But the marms in the USA I believe their really inbreed and geneticly corrupted so there might be a bigger chance for the aquatic raising procedures.
Hope it helps,
Cheers



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Old 26th July 2011   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Molch View Post
My marms should morph soon. They hatched in late April and are now 6 to 6.5 cm long (see pic) and I have seen them breathe at the surface.

I need to decide whether to keep them aquatic or terrestrial after morphing. I know both has been done successfully by people on this forum. I'm curious though which method is more common and what the pitfalls of each are.

I assume in the wild they are mostly terrestrial, but that may be more of an ecological necessity because of drying ponds than a physiological requirement.

Please take the poll if you have kept marmoratus juveniles and if you wish, elaborate on why you kept them that way ?
T. marm should not be kept aquatic unless it's breeding season and they are adults, I recommend a terrestrial set-up or at leasr a 50/50.



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Old 26th July 2011   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennewt View Post
They are one of the few species that will eat outside of their regular setup. I posted a thread about this feeding method:
How to make marmoratus grow quickly
that's a cool thread :) I used to feed my Cynops pyrrhogaster like that, except aquatic, for many years.

Where do you get such tiny earthworms? Are those Lumbricus terrestris? All the ones I can order are humongous and have to be chopped up....



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Old 26th July 2011   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljorgo View Post
Technically its impossible for these species to be raised under aquatic conditions. Juvenils have a strict terrestrial phase comparable to N.v.viridiscens eft phase. But after many captive and inbreeding generations there are a few people claiming to be possible to rear them in water. I cant prove it myself but I know this is a way too hydrophobic species before sexual maturity. Still I dont know the origin of your individuals. If they're F1 or F2 they shall behave hydrophobic and have severe healthy problems when introduced to water with huge risk of drowning. But the marms in the USA I believe their really inbreed and geneticly corrupted so there might be a bigger chance for the aquatic raising procedures.
Hope it helps,
Cheers
You can not possibly be serious???

I've raised hundreds of them completely aquatic for a few years now and I can count the number of drowning deaths on one hand. Is this a method for everyone? Nope, but I also don't think it should be so readily dismissed. Morphs raised aquatic are much larger, bolder, and just generally more healthier looking than terrestrially raised siblings. Just because most people think it shouldn't be done, doesn't mean it can't.

I'm not even going to touch your whole genetics and inbred theory...



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Old 26th July 2011   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

This species is indeed largely hydrophobic until maturity in the wild, but there are exceptions. Juveniles, from fresh morphs to subadults, have been found in aquatic conditions. Like with any other species, the specifics of each environment dictate how the populations behave to a significant degree.
In captivity, as Justin, says, it can also be done. Also, even with juveniles that went through an strictly terrestrial phase right after morphing, many, many people have succeeded in introducing them to water while still being juvenile. It works best with advanced juveniles but thereīs no specific developmental stage.
However, itīs important to note that many people object to this practice on the grounds that it is not strictly natural (at least for the most part) and because itīs believed that it may have an effect on life span. I donīt know of any conclussive data, though, but i think itīs worth considering.



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Old 26th July 2011   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

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Originally Posted by Azhael View Post
However, itīs important to note that many people object to this practice on the grounds that it is not strictly natural (at least for the most part) and because itīs believed that it may have an effect on life span. I donīt know of any conclussive data, though, but i think itīs worth considering.
That whole mentality is completely hypocritical!! Last time I checked, being housed in a little *** tank isn't natural either but they have no problems doing that.....

As for the life span? I haven't raised mine long enough to comment personally but a good friend of mine said he has not noticed a shortened life span and he's been raising them this way for 20 years. Honestly, I'm not even sure how skipping the terrestrial stage would affect the life span?



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Old 26th July 2011   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

Well, itīs true that keeping them in captivity is unnatural as it is, but i think making an effort in keeping things close to their natural conditions is a pretty damn good idea. Replicating the cycles of a species in captivity can only be benefitial.

I only mentioned the life span issue because itīs a widespread rumor. I have yet to see conclussive evidence, as i said, but i think thereīs good reason to at least consider the matter. Fast juvenile growth has been linked with certain methabolic conditions, reduced life span and even fertility in other animals. Since caudates are strongly influenced by hormonal cycles and some species are prone to deficiencies in captivity (something which T.marmoratus suffers), i think being cautious is a good idea.
The same hormone oriented argument is applied to the benefits of cycling caudates regardless of wether there is intention to breed them or not.



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Old 26th July 2011   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

Jorge,.... Whats up with this statement you are making man? You are just thinking that right, i am pretty sure it's bull****, bud!! Give me some hard data, or drop it!

I have raised my marms aqautic several times,...no probs with that!!



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Old 26th July 2011   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

I voted terrestrial based on my experiences with this species. If there was a 3rd option called “let them decide” I would have ticked it. I think it’s important to give morphed newts the option to become terrestrial. Seemingly within the same species there are differences of preference. If they choose not to then fine, keep them 100% aquatic. Until you have sufficient experience with your group of animals you shouldn’t make an either/or decision on their behalf, especially not based on a poll or discussion where views differ so wildly.

I think given the choice marmoratus morphs will leave the water to have a terrestrial juvenile stage. Even as adults mine will always have a lengthy terrestrial phase. Cork bark or a floating polystyrene platform with hides is all you need to see what their preference is. All other arguments and opinions aside, surely what the animals decide is the right choice.



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Old 26th July 2011   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

You're right, Mark, but nobody says that any marm morphs will choose aquatic life. That way of raising is more effective but newts have to be forced to live that way, at least at the beginning.
On the other hands, except for few species, like waltl and cresteds, i don't think any morphs would choose to stay aquatic.
Rodrigo: You raise your pyrrhogaster semi-aquatic, right? I wouldn't be suprised, if given opportunity, they would choose to live in a completely terrestial tank.



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Old 26th July 2011   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

Why do you take it on me? What does that have to do with anything? I havenīt even voiced my personal opinion, iīve merely stated the concerns of others. Also, semi-aquatic and fully aquatic are two entirely different things. I wouldnīt dream of raising a C.pyrrhogaster morph entirely aquatic without the option of land. Mine do in fact remain out of water for several months, and only start accepting aquatic foods once they have a certain size or age, so i definitely donīt force anything on them, they choose when they are ready. To all effects, my young morphs lead a terrestrial life, just a very humid one.



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Old 26th July 2011   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

I wasn't taking anything on you, i just wanted to use your example, as you see, i was wrong, so please excuse me. I just wanted to say that most popular, semi-aquatic way of raising Cynops/Hypselotriton is not more natural than aquatic raising either.



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Old 26th July 2011   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

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Originally Posted by Yahilles View Post
That way of raising is more effective but newts have to be forced to live that way, at least at the beginning.
I understand that aquatically raised newts grow faster but these are pets, right? What's the rush? They live for 20 years+ in captivity. You don't win a prize for efficient growth. Personally I think there's something very rewarding about seeing a terrestrially raised newt take to the water for the first time since morphing.



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Old 26th July 2011   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

Well, yes it is...
Raising them in a semi-aquatic tank doesnīt imply that the animals will always be in and out of the water. It just means they have options, just as they would have in nature. The difference between terrestrial with a water dish and semi-aquatic can be just a matter of volume. The difference between that and fully aquatic is enormous.
If you consider semi-aquatic to be unnatural, then fully aquatic must therefore be several orders of magnitude more unnatural. Certainly not equivalent.



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Old 26th July 2011   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

interesting debate folks. Maybe I should have called it "semi-aquatic" in the poll; since what I assumed folks are doing is some kind of shallow water set-up w. islands.

I'm gonna let them decide, as Mark said, by offering islands and then transferring them to a terrestrial set-up if they look like that's what they choose. I might put a shallow water dish w.lots of plants into the setup, so they can still get wet if they want. Then again, they might not need that at all.....decisions, decisions.....



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Old 26th July 2011   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

You canīt go wrong by giving them choices, just make sure that you have excellent ventilation. T.marmoratus are prone to skin problems in high humidity if ventilation is poor.



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Old 27th July 2011   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

I used to keep mine on land but I would put them on wet paper towls and fed them clumps of black worms just like I do my red efts. Its easy for them to see the food and eat it. Plus I can make sure everyone is eating and none are left out. There isn't anything wrong with keeping them in water though. Plenty of people do it and raise the morphs to breeding age. I just keep them on land because I hate more water changes.



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Old 14th August 2011   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Marmoratus morphs: terrestrial or aquatic?

well, the oldest ones have taken on the adult colors and reduced their dorsal and tail skin crests and their gills. They sometimes haul out on the large, mossy island with cover but then go back in the water to hunt food. They are about 6.5 to 7 cm. The water level is about 7 inches with very dense hornwort at the surface that they lounge on at night.

so hey? Should I let them do their thing? Or do I need to worry that they will fail to crawl out of the water when they should and drown themselves instead? I have a woodland setup w. earth and moist moss all ready to go....but these noodleheads take their time becoming terrestrial.



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